In my heart there lies no defeat
But in my bosom a triumphant and rhythmic beat
And while my spirit dances with gladness
I am quick to recall the sounds of blackness.
I hear the moaning and the wailing
Of native Africans held captive on ships sailing
As though it were my youth of yesterday
Whispering truths to ears in dark dismay.
The long, persistent motherland call
Of anxious hope and justice for all
As though it beckoned from higher heights
I hear the songs of steal away nights.
That disdainful whip, the startling crack
The sound of fifty lashes to my brother man's back
We listened to hate's hypocrisy and religion
And prayed for deliverance complete with wisdom.
I hear Harriet's footsteps and her hushing sacred sounds
As she walked without fear in search of freedom's grounds
To lead as many captives safely to northern light
Her savvy spirit vowed to never give up the fight.
The sighs of relief at a kingdom finally come
Freedom at last for us, the worst of sins to some
But to the surprise and shock of a divided nation
Came the lyrics of a long overdue slave Emancipation.
The endless cheering must have been loud
While those who stood free made their ancestors proud
And the old African's dream really did come true
In a nation where his people were brought to be subdued.
Dr. King shouted "Free at last, free at last . . . "
And his dream of a promised land did come to pass
The sit-ins, the marches and the demand for equal rights
Were necessary for those freed in darkness and deprived of light.
So, in my daily living, I do not dare ignore the sounds
But am honored that my ancestors were strong and freedom bound
When fellowmen can't remember the truth about this sadness
Pause to share with them one of the many sounds of blackness.