Have We Yet Come to That Place?

On behalf of the children and their families listed below, on behalf of all of our incarcerated black children, on behalf of African American families struggling in lives of poverty and all the evils that come with it, I propose that we alter the second verse of the Black National Anthem, as follows:

LIFT EV’RY VOICE AND SING (Also known as “The Black National Anthem”)

by James Weldon Johnson

Lift ev’ry voice and sing,

Till earth and heaven ring.

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise,

High as the list’ning skies,

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on till victory is won.


Stony the road we trod,

Bitter the chast’ning rod,

Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;

Yet And with a steady beat,

Have not yet our weary feet,

Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

The jury in the case of Michael Dunn found him guilty Saturday night on four charges, including three of attempted second-degree murder, but they couldn’t reach a verdict on the most significant charge — first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The decision came on the eve of what would have been Davis’ 19th birthday. (February 16 2014 CNN)

 We have now come over a way that with tears has been watered,

The FBI on Tuesday was helping investigate who tied a noose around the neck of a University of Mississippi statue of James Meredith, who, in 1962, became the first black student to enroll in the then all-white Southern college. Officers found the rope noose and a pre-2003 Georgia state flag with the Confederate battle flag on the statue’s face. Sellers says two men were seen nearby early Sunday.The men were said to be heard shouting racial slurs, CBS affiliate WJTV reported. (CBS News: February 19, 2014)

We have now come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

No 8-year-old should live in fear for his life, with nightmares that keep him awake all night. But that is a daily occurrence for Donald Maiden Jr., known as D.J., who was playing tag outside his Dallas apartment complex when he was shot in the face by a neighbor last September.There was seemingly no reason for the attack by 46-year-old Brian Cloninger, a white man, who told police “he wanted to” when asked why he fired on the black child. (The Root: February 20, 2014 by Breanna Edwards).

Out from All through the gloomy past,

A retrial has been set for Joseph Weekley, the Detroit police officer who shot and killed a 7-year-old girl (Aiyana Stanley-Jones, African American)  during a 2010 police raid. (The Huffington Post: September 19)

Till Here now we stand at last, still fast

Police say John Henry Spooner (and killed) shot Darius Simmons (African American 13-year old) last May after accusing the boy of stealing $3,000 worth of guns from his home. The teen, who had lived with his mother next door to Spooner for only a month, was taking out the trash around 10 a.m. when Spooner accused the boy of the theft and demanded he return the shotguns.The teenager was unarmed when he was shot in the street outside their homes (in front of his mother). (Daily Mail Online: July 17, 2013)

 Where the white gleam of Seeking the place where our bright star is shall be cast.

Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was a 17-year-old (unarmed) African American from Miami Gardens, Florida who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer….Zimmerman was not charged at the time of the shooting by the Sanford Police, who said that there was no evidence to refute his claim of self-defense and that Florida’s stand your ground law prohibited law-enforcement officials from arresting or charging him. Zimmerman was eventually charged in Martin’s death and a jury acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and of manslaughter charges in July, 2013. (Wikipedia article: Trayvon Martin)

 God of our weary years,

God of our silent tears,

Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;

Thou who has by Thy might,

Led us into the light,

Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,

Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee,

Shadowed beneath thy hand,

May we forever stand,

True to our God,

True to our native land.

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