This is an excerpt from the poem February 12, 1963:
I am born as the South explodes,
too many people too many years
enslaved, then emancipated
but not free, the people
who look like me
and getting killed
so that today –
February 12, 1963
and everyday from this moment on,
brown children like me can grow up
free. Can grow up
learning and voting and walking and riding
wherever we want.
The rest of the poem, and the rest of the book so far, is just magical. I’ve read a lot about the Civil Rights Movement, but it really is the magic of poetry that let’s you feel it’s subject and makes what is read all the more poignant.