I see the children, dying on the battlefield of America… a dream deferred. I had a dream, a dream of a tree bearing fruit in the Promised Land… A fruit that would be shared by all God’s children… I know now that this fruit is a decayed fruit that has fallen to the ground… because so many of our young children that must eat of this fruit are dying… dying faster than they are being born… The problem is… this is the same tree that has lynched so many of our African Brothers and Sisters not too long ago. I’m not talking about the tree of life. I’m talking about a tree deeply rooted in the American Dream… a tree that has witnessed two hundred and fifty years of slavery, one hundred years of legally enforced segregation, and decades of racial discrimination and prejudice in every facet of life… a tree that must be cut down by every “Black Man and White man, Jew and Gentile, Protestant and Catholic”, And I will add Muslim and Shinto. We cannot expect our young children to rise up from the stranglehold of poverty until that tree has fallen to the ground… And on that day , we will be able to join hands and sing with a new meaning that old Negro spiritual:
“Free at Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty, We are Free At Last” – STORIES I NEVER TOLD MY FATHER by Lynel Gardner


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