This extract from Bob Marley’s Redemption Song sums up this poem nicely: ‘‘Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery…’’
Anthem for Black Empowerment
I shouldn’t be here
In this space of surrender
where every street
and avenue seems
shut to advancement
Has the Black Man not left
that defeated place
where our wrists were bound
in shackles of racism and slavery?
Have we not scaled the convoluted
road to political and cultural power?
Still a defeated logic holds us back
not in Jim Crow and the lynching South
but in degraded projects and police captivity
But just as God’s love remains
so too does the faith that once sealed up minds
and corridors will be shattered and like the Israelites
we’ll walk at last into the promise land.