Someday............Is getting Closer.

And I’m proud to be an American,
at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the
men who died,
who gave that right to me.

In the spring of 2006 I played trumpet in a pair of Memorial Day concerts with the Henrico Pops Chorus. I was one of only two black people participating. I don’t consider myself to be very patriotic. I was playing just because I like to play. I was primarily featured on the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, with small parts on some other songs. One of the last songs of the concert was Proud to Be an American. I had never heard the song before in my life, but everyone else apparently had heard it numerous times.

With current events being what they are I thought about that song today and the lyrics and realize that while they may have grew up singing Proud To Be an American, I grew up singing and hearing We Shall Overcome, and hearing my mother sing “Before I’ll be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord and be free.”. While they sang “at least I know I’m free”, I knew I was free to be picked up by the police while walking down the street because I fit the description; that description being 5’ 10” tall, 145 pounds, 16 years old, and black. While they couldn’t forget the men who died who gave them that right to be free, I couldn’t forget the black men and women who died to give me something they knew they themselves might never experience. Remember the words, “I might not get there with you”?

Well, I’m excited about the events of the last couple of days, but I’m not convinced we’re standing in the Promised Land yet. We are closer but not close enough to relax, and we’ll never be in position to forget those who set us up to have this vantage point. As Dr. King stated, “We as a people will get to the promised land”. A promise that says, Someday We’ll ALL be (truly) free.

Keep on walking tall, hold you head up high.
Lay your dreams right up to the sky.
Sing your greatest song.
And you'll keep, going, going on.

Take it from me, Someday we'll all be free.

(Donny Hathaway)


Strongblkwmn said…
I totally agree with you. I have talked to people who think racism is over because Barack Obama was elected president.

Baby steps....

Things will not change over night. I wish people would just be still and take this moment in until we get to the next.
SLC said…
I hear you sister. Savor this moment, but don't stop working for more progress.
Thanks for stopping by and I LOVE your post on Diary Of A Strong Black Woman
Shanita Waters said…
Wonderful post. I don't think that racism is over but I do think that Obama has opened a lot of doors for people of color and has proven to those that think that the "white man" will always be able to keep them down that such is not the case.

on another note, do you think that by Obama's mothers and close relatives being white it was easier for non-black people to vote for him?
SLC said…
Hi Shanita. I think Obama's complexion made it easier for white people under age 65 to vote for him. The 65 and older group is the only group he didn't win and the group that would most likely fall under the can't teach an old dog new tricks mantra. I also think the race may have been different if Obama could not pass the paper bag test. Some of those that were color struck were converted by the power of his words, the consistency of his message, and the character of his campaign. That makes victory that much sweeter.
I hope Keith ( tackles that question. He 's one of the most wisest and knowledgeable in the blogosphere so I'd like to read his take on your question.
Thanks for stopping by.
we have only just begun! people out there, please don't get comfortable!

I am a proud, free American and for once in my lifetime, I look at us differently. We are truly, truly capable and we are "not" what we've been brain washed to believe. The not being worthy and good enough!

"We" are human beings and we matter too. So move over white America, the Barack's are coming to the "White" House.
Fitts said…
Great post, keep up the good work!
much2ponder said…
Thank you for this powerful message. It leads me to pray. Lord, I pray we learn from the past in order to live in this world as you intend in the present and that your will WILL be done as we take steps into the future. That nothing will be wasted, but that the you will glorify yourself throughout. I pray against ignorance and hate and ask that you forgive our country for the injustices that have taken place. Teach us oh Lord, to walk in your ways, I pray. Lord have mercy. Amen
Keith said…
I totally agree with you...Someday is getting closer, but it aint here yet.. I hear a lot of people
talking as if now that Obama is President racism is gone...the sky is the limit!!!
Well, not quite..There is a lot of work to be done ,both in the Black
Community and outside of it.I may talk about this in detail later.
Thanks for the compliment..but really, I'm not all that..just struggling to get somewhere like everybody else..that's all.
You know I'm wonder what R&B Phenom is going to remake this song. And will there be some kinda hip hop verse inserted and will it produced by one of the super producers. *lol*

just bringing a little fun into it.

Its important to remember Barack did this IN SPITE of racism not because it doesn't exist. There pool of folks is just shrinking.