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As black bodies hung like ornaments for all to see,
like children gathered around a Christmas tree,
the torturers gleefully watched until they grew bored;
or until finally severed was the silver cord.
From the blood soaked ground of yesteryears,
heard are their screams and seen are their tears.
They endured unimaginable horror and pain,
but God has blessed them with unimaginable gain.
Like torrents, like rivers, like gentle streams,
we carry forward their hopes and their dreams.
Providentially we now have a seat at the table;
indeed–we sit in high places, for we–too–are able.
“Some” still treat us as if our lives have no worth,
wanting us to think we’re the least of the earth.
More of us get locked up long enough to die,
still as ONE we shine like stars in the night sky.
(Echo) still as ONE we shine like stars in the night sky.
So, to our strong Negroes, our own brave heroes,
the falsely accused who took the cruelest blows,
we humbly and gratefully pay our sincerest homage,
for their unforgettable sacrifice and undeniable courage.
© Poem & illustration by Ernst Louis
From my book Never Alone (Poetry Meets Faith)