Free At Last

Location

97302
United States
44° 54' 16.5852" N, 123° 4' 57.4824" W

Centuries of oppression,
Second rate, second-class existence,
Judgment not by character but the color of one’s skin,
Biting dogs and blasting hoses assault the dreams of decades,
Beating down an already beaten people, but a people not beaten down,
Gospel hymns and choir songs ease the heavy burden of
Thousands dying in the Name of Love
One man had a dream,
Echoed in the actions of millions.

Freedom now rings
From every mountain, every hillside, and every molehill of this great nation.
Because:
One man had a dream,
One woman refused to give up her seat,
One man went on to not play in the Negro Leagues,
Nine teenagers wanted an integrated education,
One man flew like a butterfly and stung like a bee,

Separate But Equal was the law of this land
But while equality on paper is a black and white principle,
Separation was the principle of the White man and the Black man

A decade of hardship,
Of fighting, of too many innocent people dying,
Of Freedom rides and church bombings,
Riots, sermons, boycotts, sit-ins created
An undeclared war on a Constitutionally declared right

And in 1968,
After a deep division of the American people,
A movement of civil rights that shouldn’t have been needed
But necessary for all men to be seen as Created Equal,
The words had never been more true--
“Free at last, free at last, and thank God Almighty we’re free at last.”

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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