My back is straight

Location

03222
United States
43° 37' 11.9388" N, 71° 46' 40.9224" W

"All of you boys best move right now!" yelled the officer.
I did not move, for I was unafraid.
Dr. King said we must not move, so I do not move.
"If ya'll don't want to listen, I'll get the hose"
Once again, I felt no fear.
Dr. King said we must keep our backs straight.
And so I kept my back straight, and did not move.
"Sheriff, grab them dogs. These kids don't feel like listen'n to an officer".
I felt uneasy now, they had the bloodhounds brought in and I was scared.
I knew what happened to black kids in Selma that didn't listen to officers.
Dr. King said that we must not feel fear, for if we do we will be hurt.
And so I stood, hands shaking, but strong.
"The hose is coming, I'm sure you negro's and Jews got mommas that don't want you bloody now".
He insulted my mother, I was angry.
But Dr. King said if I hit a white officer, than I will be hit twice as hard, and that I needed to be still.
And so I stood, with my brothers, still as the hose was prepared.
"We got some dumb boys right here, don't we? Nail 'em".
And like that hundreds of gallons of water began to fly at me, and it tore my back.
But Dr. King said I cannot break, for if I break, then I will be hurt. I may not give in.
So I stood, teeth gritted, while my back broke.
But my back broke straight. And with my brothers in hand the water stopped, as well as the beatings.
We overcame, with straight backs.

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