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by Ashley Gooden

I want to belong in my own home.

The land that's not mine originally.

where I have to adapt but not like it was given to me.

back then they had to take the freedom forcefully.

Decades later we still fight to remain free.

I seem to stand in land both foreign and familiar.

land of freedoms bittersweet when one lives in this color.

Land built on the back of ancestors 10 times over bent over in the pain of underserved cruelties.

Today it seems to be the same but with domestic enemies.

I sang for freedom.

Francis Scott held the key to shackles and his melody is meant to represent me.

They sang to cripple and keep down.

Well we have the keys to our own movement now.

For centuries we were on our knees in agony and today I bend because my very existence is defiance and I defy the odds set against me fearlessly.

I kneel for those fallen in the fields.

Not just the playing but America the battle field filled with those unarmed and killed.

Shed red under a blue sky at the mercy of white hands.

Then why the hell should I have to stand and cover a broken heart with my tired of praying so hard for the safety of my people right hand.

Go ask the unmarked grave of a black man who gave me the peaceful rebellion I was promised


Ashley Gooden is a young African American writer.


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