The sorrow and despair inside of me turned into water dripping off the edges of my face. Falling on to the pavement, it became a river of tears. As it wound its way through the city streets, it began to collect water from the tributary streams. It then became a mighty river, destroying everything in its path. It was a terrible thing watching the river rip through the neighborhood. But this river had a name, and its name was Poverty.

Everyone was swept up by it. So much so, that it caused everyone to feel the same pain, a pain that welled up inside of each and every one of us. A pain that had a color, we called the black experience. A collective consciousness that made us realize that we are all in this together. And this color we called Black would become our drowning pool, our prison. A prison that had been created a long, long, time ago. But this prison was unlike any other. Because in this prison there were no bars, no guards, and no walls to climb. And yet, no one ever escaped from it. The pain felt like a knife stuck in our back. And it made everyone weep all at once. It rained for forty days, and forty nights, just like in the Bible. And as I hung onto the street pole, at Gardenia street in East Palo Alto, California for dear life, my head just above the water, I could hear the ancestors singing, “We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome someday.” And just before I went under the water, I took one last gasp of air, and looked all around me. I looked all around me because I never wanted to forget what it was like to climb a tree, to imagine my face in the clouds, to splash in a puddle, to see my shadow in the sun, and to feel the wind supporting me at my back. I tried to take one last look….at the freedom…. of a child.

Click the link below, to read my Amazon book, “BEAST: THE DECONSTRUCTION OF CHARLES SONNY LISTON” , and leave a review. Thank you


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