Poetry
Autumn/Winter 2017

I saw a post on social media of a man running from the KKK

“Is it 1967?” I thought. But we’re about 50 years too late

I never thought I’d spend a day in the shoes of my grandparents 

Singing “We Shall Overcome” someday, with progress that’s unapparent

I thought Jim Crow was just a sleeping dog, content to let him lie

Haunted daily by his spirit, his modern essence, we can’t deny 

But now his descendants have gotten so bold that they won’t even wear their sheets

Racial slurs spew from their mouths as they terrorize our streets

Spurred by a leader in highest power, they want to “Make America Great Again.”

But what America are they referring to? The one before 1862 ends?

But we must fight this vision, stand proud and tall, we won’t accept hate as our truth

We refuse to be victims of this plight in life called Injustice's Déjà Vu

 

What to African Americans is the 4th of July? Does it represent our freedom?

In 1776 while you were declaring independence, my ancestors wore chains. Whips beat them.

So, hit fast forward, almost two centuries later, Black soldiers fight to prove their worth

In the US army, many medals should have dawned them. They pledged allegiance to America first 

But isn’t it ironic, although we all agree that, Yes, ALL LIVES MATTER!

That here we are, in the “land of the free,” still losing jobs for the Star Spangled Banner

“We didn’t land on Plymouth rock. Plymouth rock landed on us.” And yet we forgave our rapists

Who stole our culture, colonized our land, fertilized our bodies but didn’t even pay us

No one is born hating another because of his skin, his background, or his religion

Stop pacifying your guilt by demanding my silence. Your teachings only cause division

But we must fight this vision, stand proud and tall, we won’t accept hate as our truth

We refuse to be victims of this plight in life called Injustice's Déjà Vu

 

So, what you may ask, is this intriguing concept of Injustice's Déjà Vu?

It means we’ve seen this before, we’ve been in this place, nothing under the sun is new

Fear of Black bodies, shot and called thugs, arrested even when we march in peace

But you beat and terrorize others openly, yet they call yours freedom of speech

In spite of this, I remain hopeful, that my dear America will live out the true meaning of its creed 

I pray that one day we’ll look past our differences, and form a united melting pot, in deed 

History repeats itself, so we must learn from the past and create better solutions

My president was Black and someday he will be again, not because of color but from qualifications

Or an AWESOME SHE president, if we can ever get past those who from the 19th Amendment are still bitter      

Just like Auntie Maxine, we’re reclaiming our time so, Mr. President, put this line on Twitter 

We will fight this vision. We will stand proud and tall. We won’t accept hate as our truth.

We refuse to be victims of this plight in life called Injustice's Déjà Vu

Injustice's Déjà Vu

by Lana Lockhart

Photo: Sheila Pree Bright

Lana Lockhart is a teacher, scholar, and poet who has performed at many local venues and community events in Atlanta, Ga. Currently, Lana is a lecturer in the English department at Spelman College and she notes that she gets her inspiration from the revolutionary women of the Black Arts Movement.

AUBURN AVENUE

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