I was doing what I set out to do: to break those barriers of race for myself. And I knew after walking through the park with Mrs. Myrna Carter Jackson and hugging her at the end that I had just removed a brick in my barrier…I hope that by the end of this trip I will have made a significant hole in my barrier and will be able to look through to see what lies on the other side.
These two days have felt like years of time. Every day we take a time machine back to these years of great importance. It’s so much more than reading a book; it’s being inside of one.
As I heard the
powerful words of the poems,
the untold stories,
the ones who did not
have an exhibit or statue
the ones that have no name
I thought of the people,
the people who are not
in any textbook or website
but are merely a face or
stories we have heard.
I try and stand far away,
Blocking my own view
On what it would be like…
To be like them,
To struggle through what their ancestors did
And to experience their struggle today.
The shoes that I must make fit
Are difficult to put on.
Their laces are tied
Waiting for me to untie them, knot after knot.
But as I begin to start untying the shoes,
They only get harder and harder to climb into.
The thing that struck me most was our poetry. Its reflectiveness of our privileges, our white privilege, made such an emotional aspect that made the words full of power. It came to mind to me that words can be hurtful. Also, I noticed it forced some of us to get in an uncomfortable position to the point where it becomes personal.
Meeting with LaQuita Singleton was an amazing experience. Her poetry was so full of pain and struggle from the past and present, and it was very personal, too. Showing the embodiment of the marchers, the slaves, the lynched, and the lynched’s child. She breathed so much genuine emotion and pain into the performance that it was more than just reciting words; it was living, breathing truth.