I keep hearing folks say they never thought they'd live the day to see a black man be president. Not in their lifetime. I don't understand this. It's as though they never really believed the speeches, the music, or the possibility. Here are but a few examples of words that spoke to a different day, and upon hearing them, one came to believe.
When the thunder of opression roars and crackles, I'll be there---------------
When those who would be free are wearing shackles, I'll be there
For the day is gonna come when they'll throw away their chains
Lift their heads and raise their arms for the struggle that remains
And let me tell you
Let me tell you
Let me tell you
Let me tell you, I'll be there-
--Phil Ochs, I'll Be There
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.--Dr. ML King, Beyond Vietnam, 4 April 1967, Clergy and Laity Concerned, Riverside Church, New York CityAnd then later in the same speech, King said,
We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.----
For every scar on a wall----
There's a hole in someone's heart
Where a loved one's memory lives
In the flash of this moment
You're the best of what we are --
Don't let them stop you now
--Bruce Cockburn, Nigaragua
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you're missin' y'all
Swingin' while I'm singin'
Givin' whatcha gettin'
Knowin' what I know
While the Black bands sweatin'
And the rhythm rhymes rollin'
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
--Public Enemy, Fight the Power