Freedom

THEY CANNOT TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES

Our tobacco they plant, and out cotton they pick, and our rice they can harvest and thrash;

They feed us in health, and they nurse us when sick, and they earn-while we pocket our cash.

They lead us when young and they help us when old, and their toil loads our tables and shelves;

But they’re “niggers”; and therefore (the truth must be told) They cannot take care of themselves. . .

Reference: The Freedmen's Book, Lydia Mary Francis Child

Date
Month: 
April
Day: 
6
Author name: 
by Rev. John Pierpoint

Vivian & James

What a day it was on June 11, 1963
I stared at challenges that would set me free
Saw others do something I never thought would be
Did it so the whole world could see

A young Black woman and a young Black man
Set into motion a brand new educational plan
That was taboo before their cradle’s hand
But time ripened so they took a revolutionary stand

Laid bare an old way and made it new
Without the spill of blood just mental abuse
Showing to others like me what we could pursue
Demonstrating the stance that must continue

Open the door we are coming in!

Date
Month: 
June
Day: 
11
Author name: 
Williams, Evelyn Dilworth

PRAISE SONG FOR THE DAY by Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others’ eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

Date
Month: 
January
Day: 
20
Author name: 
Alexander, Elizabeth

SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT by Wallace Willis

Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home,
Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home.

I looked over Jordan and what did I see,
Coming for to carry me home?

Date
Month: 
December
Day: 
21
Author name: 
Willis, Wallace

A Black Woman Speaks by Beah Richards

1. A black woman speaks of white womanhood. What gives her the right?
--slavery, lynching, etc have to do with white women.

2. Would like to speak of it as it will and should be.
What is that? When white womanhood stands for full equality.
--but it is not there yet.

Why? Still a superiority thing and a need to separate for their own validation.
--this is taught to them by white supremacists.

3. White womanhood, slavery too; only to a different degree.
You were “willing slaves”
Both sold in different ways, and you did not fight.

4.

Date
Month: 
November
Day: 
29
Author name: 
Richards, Beah

AIN’T I A WOMAN? by Sojourner Truth

Well, children, were there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that it wixt the negroes of the South and the women of the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm!

Date
Month: 
9
Day: 
19
Author name: 
Truth, Sojourner

FEELINGS FROM ‘63 by Evelyn Dilworth-Williams

The clothes got wet but not the souls
From the forceful pouring of the hoses
The spirits were ne'er dampened
Though evil attempts were rampant
Flames were fueled and denied shame
To lay hands on the real aged old blame

Overcoming second class citizenry
Ne'er use the killing children bombs

We march
We sing
We cry
No more
No more
No more

'Cause we're ready to die
Believe it and that's no lie
Change the guard
Here comes a new age start!!!

From: Morning Promises & My Evening Songs
Copyright 2004, Evelyn Dilworth-Williams

Date
Month: 
2
Day: 
14
Author name: 
Williams, Evelyn Dilworth

COTTIN PICKIN' FREEDOM RIDERS by Evelyn Dilworth-Williams

When Sister Rosa sat on that bus, she didn't sit alone,
She had the visible image of the Master on the high throne.
There were passengers on that bus that no eye could see,
She was riding with people who had never been free.

Their time had come to sit and ride anywhere,
The day was now with no time to spare.
Cottin pickin' time had lasted for hundreds of years,
So taking a seat anywhere was without fear

Ridin' didn't quench the thirst of the workers of the fields
They needed more of what a water fountain could give
With their brow, so hot none wanted to think,
They sighted God'

Date
Month: 
December
Day: 
1
Author name: 
Williams, Evelyn Dilworth

IF WE MUST DIE by Claude McKay.

If we must die, let it not belike hogs hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, while round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, o let us nobly die, so that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us through dead!
O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
13
Author name: 
McKay, Claude

BE COOL, BABY by Rob Penny.

Kneegrows niggas colored coons splibbs spades
Pimp scag tracks poor disenfranchised Vietnam rayzors

Kneegrows niggas colored coons splibbs spades
Baptist malnutrition moonshine democracy numbers hoes

Kneegrows niggas colored coons splibbs spades
Hate blackwomen hate blackmen hate thick lips
hate natural hair you hate yourself

Kneegrows niggas colored coons splibbs spades
See dick, see jane see spot can jump syrup and bread

No ownership, no control, no resources black power, muthafucker
hill harlem hough birth-control pills pig feet no land
no constitut

Date
Month: 
6
Day: 
11
Author name: 
Penny, Rob