The Summer of '64

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 13:06 -- avantha

The buildings echo with the chant of our drums
The voice of our people, the cries of our sons
And the buildings are home to us, through thick and thin
And decades, scores, centuries in

But leave us homeless, and we will rise
Leave us helpless behind your guise
For we do see what it is you hide
Believe we're animal but for a surmise

Yet here were are, in a smoldering city
Demanding changes, and simply no pity
For if you had never had absolute power
We, to this day, would still know a boy named Powell

Hold out injustice, and we will speak
Until change reaches it's final peak
We will run, break, and catechize
Until we know we have opened your eyes

And here we march, we march in our city
Around our buildings, so tall and pretty
Here in Harlem, we march for a boy
A boy with a future so impressionable and coy

In our parade you feel our pride
Flowing through us, side by side
And what you see is not what you get
We walk for a family who cries and frets

In our riots of nineteen sixty-four
We know for a fact this will go down in lore
See, this boy named Powell was of colored race
And in your eyes, he had no place

In the summer of nineteen sixty-four
You hurt us to the very core
And blamed it on a simple knife
And nothing more but a stereotype

In the summer of nineteen sixty-four
We couldn't believe it for a second more
So we take the streets, as you took his life
A life full of potential, success and strife

In the summer of nineteen sixty four
We walk in Central Park to mourn
And walk right through the scorching heat
With our steps supervised by a haunting fleet

But some of us walk up to the rooftops
And scream and riot nonstop
For an injustice overlooked far too long
We just ask that you right your wrong

Yet within the stomping, within the beats
There is something that we will reach
Change, change, change, and more
In the summer of nineteen sixty four

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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