But, were You there?

Location

12561
United States
41° 43' 54.804" N, 74° 6' 1.8144" W

As Malcolm held in his dark arms
the artillery of force,
And Martin yelled with some alarm
his words with no remorse.
Two black men of great esteem
causing quite the scare,
Converging both of the extremes
to make right what was fair.
But, were You there?
Were You there?

Panthers waiting in the night
with fists so full of fury.
Nine Little Rocks sit filled with spite
before their white cloaked jury.
Freedom fighters for the world,
a world devoid of freedom.
Freedom fighters let unfurl
a freer world that left out freedom.
But, did You see them?
Did You see them?

Laws and legislation
allowed for Us Our rights.
Voter registration
for both Blacks and the whites.
And Rosa sitting nicely
perched in her bus seat,
Stops the bus most politely
to exit on Beale Street.
But, did You see it?
Did You see it?

Of course You were there,
embodied in the spirit
Of those who were there
Whom did not fear it.
Of course You saw Them,
in the heart of today
Where those who condemn
are thrown away.
And still You say
it has been seen
That skin means nothing
to You and Me.

So when You’re asked,
“Where have you been?”
“Who did you see?”
and “What have you seen?”
Remember to say,
There and Them
because You’re the result
of all that has Been.

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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