what is freedom?

we walked our roads
married our women
led our lives with many customs
you came…abducted us
put us on slave ships
shackled
destroyed our lives

we worked the fields
picked cotton
tended your horses
our women cooked your food
took care of your women
our women were raped
when pregnant cast aside
your children then became
your slaves

we were beaten
forced to call you “master”
feared you
wanted to kill you
tried to run away
were murdered without cause
i remember the “hanging tree”

then came freedom
but what is freedom?
not allowed to walk among you
had to sit in the back of the bus
not allowed to sit in restaurants
the lines were white and black
not allowed an education
the klu klux klan still haunting
still destroying our lives

they came
the freedom fighters
Rosa Parks
Malcolm X
Martin Luther King
those of valor
those of bravery
who feared no one
we fought the fight
to a degree…we won
freedom

but what is freedom?
still when i walk down the street
you cast your eyes the other way
as if you fear me
can’t get apartments or houses
where we would like to live
still discrimination
jobs…still hard to find
we are tired of being the
“token black”
yet..the klu klux klan survives

through my eyes
i still see racism
i still see color lines
i still see the ignorant
i still have one question

i want to know the answer
“what is freedom?”

©sally omar

what is freedom?

Sally Omar

Joined January 2008

Artist's Description

Collaborative work of H M Bascom & Sally Omar

hmbascom

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