"In the moment" a poem by Ashanti Cole


Ashanti Cole is an 18-year-old Evanston Township High School (ETHS) student on the bus with us on our Uncomfortable Journey to Montgomery, Alabama to visit the The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

Ashanti wrote this poem on the bus this morning as we made our way from Montgomery to Selma.

Ashanti, thank you for coming on this journey with us and for your wisdom and your powerful words.

Title: In the moment

Many times I have closed my eyes and became apart of my ancestors trials and tribulations

Ropes on their necks Chains on their hands Whips on their backs Pain in their souls

Everything spiraling out of control No one to console them But the white man to the control them

Ropes on their necks Hanging from the trees like strange fruit Nothing to see but their feet Chains on their hands Enslaved

Whips on their backs Everlasting scars forever etched in their skin Pains in their souls They can not win Mothers wondering when they would catch wind of where their child is

Many times I have closed my eyes and I have wept because I was angry Angry that my people were ripped away from their culture, then treated like garbage like we asked to be here Liked we asked to be raped Like we asked to be Lynnched Like we asked we for anything

Angry because whether we wanted to do anything we couldn't We had no power even though we are powerful Angry because young people like me who now have power to do something aren't doing anything Too busy trying to be popular

Many times I have opened my eyes and saw the world around me Saw that not much has changed

And some how are apart of a deranged system to set us up And we out here killing each other Killing our women Our children Our future What is our future ? A grim one? A slim one ? A no one can win one ?

Will we have ropes on our necks ? Chains on our hands ? Whips on our backs? Pain our souls ?

Like Dr.King said "our bodies are tired and our feet are some what soar"

So I ask you what more can I, you, we endore before we start opening up doors?

Everyday I wake up I become apart of my ancestors trials and tribulations

I am so tired of these inhumane situations


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