Anthem for Black Empowerment

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

and opportunity.

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

of old

but in degraded projects and police captivity

of now.

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.

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