I was stole from Eden, an innocent soul,
crossed seas and centuries, chained and cold;
My mother was raped and beaten to death,
my daddy was sold, and my sister is kept.
How they praise God and brag dat they free,
and sing songs about freedom, 'din look upon me?
I was chained to 'dis land, 'dis "Land of the free,"
by people with a God, who sho must can't see.
But a change is a comin', Tho I won't no mo be,
but when it get here, Dear Lord,
please let my soul see.
"AWAKEN, MY CHILD, AND BEHOLD . . . "
I Now stand firm. My dedication to the power of knowledge is the platform upon which my podium rests. I stand firm, strong, and now free--free of anger, free of self-delusion, free of the folly of empty vanity, and free of the pernicious bane of meaningless pride without substance.
I now stand free to look upon the eyes of other men, reflecting dignity over sorrow, and accomplishment over pain; I stand with a burning passion, fueled by the very flame that forged ancestral shackles, with a deep sense of pride, and a pride that flows deep.
I now stand erect! The steel that once degraded my father, that chained him in bondage to this bitter Earth, now reinforce my character, making me more, rather than less; and the blood and sweat that once drenched his brow, and oozed from the yoke around his neck, now rage with resolve and a sense of purpose, and tremble with passion, within my burning breast.
I now stand as a new being–-neither simply African, nor simply American, but a hybrid forced to transcend the sum of my parts; no longer simply African, since being torn away from the African motherland to suffer and toil in the fields of America, and more than simply American, after being forced to be more than simply American, Just to survive within the bowels of this prosperous land.
Thus, I stand now armed—-armed with the wisdom of deprivation, the courage of my conviction, and a deep conviction of my courage; and fortified–with the confidence of a survivor, the empowerment of knowledge, and a ravishing hunger for greatness.