Home > Spoken Word & Poetry > Respect the Sacrifice…

Respect the Sacrifice…


Hello All!  It’s February, the month of love and pro-blackness!  🙂 For me black history month is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made, both willing and unwilling, so we could have the freedom we currently enjoy.  The freedom to love, the freedom to learn, the freedom to prosper, the freedom to express thoughts openly, and the freedom to be black and beautiful were neither automatic nor expected.  Our ancestors took the thorns from their backside and used them to build bridges so we could walk over into greatness.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

The poem “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall has always touched my soul, maybe because it speaks to the mother in me.  It also has a way of slapping me out of my complacent and content moments.  It reminds me that there is still work to be done because those who paid the ultimate price with their lives deserve much more from me, from you, from all of us.

Until our minds are as free as our bodies, we have not arrived.  Keep fighting for the change you seek!

ChUC

_____________________________________________________________

Ballad of Birmingham

Mother dear, may I go downtown
Instead of out to play,
And march the streets of Birmingham
In a Freedom March today?”
“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For the dogs are fierce and wild,
And clubs and hoses, guns and jails
Aren’t good for a little child.”

“But, mother, I won’t be alone.
Other children will go with me,
And march the streets of Birmingham
To make our country free.”

“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For I fear those guns will fire.
But you may go to church instead
And sing in the children’s choir.”

She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair,
And bathed rose petal sweet,
And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands,
And white shoes on her feet.

The mother smiled to know that her child
Was in the sacred place,
But that smile was the last smile
To come upon her face.

For when she heard the explosion,
Her eyes grew wet and wild.
She raced through the streets of Birmingham
Calling for her child.

She clawed through bits of glass and brick,
Then lifted out a shoe.
“O, here’s the shoe my baby wore,
But, baby, where are you?”

 

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  1. Chief Rocka
    February 10, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Thanks for the reminder ChUc…we didn’t always have it this easy!

  2. Katina
    February 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Awesome way to slap us back into the reality of the struggle not being over.

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