Born to Be Free

“Born to be Free” is dedicated to all my people in the struggle.

by Nekima Levy-Pounds, Esq.

Most wanted; gangster; thug; drug dealer;
Crack slanger; gang banger; they think I’m a killer
Not because I have a weapon in my hand
They see me this way, as a young black man

Every night, when I turn on the news
They’re flashing my picture and I’m wearing County Blues
Old Ladies cross the street when I walk by
They’re clutching their purses, instead of saying hi
The message they’re sending is far from subliminal
Cause of the color of my skin, I’m made to feel like a criminal

Tell me what did I do to deserve this plight?
No matter how I look at it, it just doesn’t seem right
Our ancestors were whipped and beaten down as slaves
Wearing shackles and working ‘til they went to their graves

Our families were broken, separated and sold
Treated like property and left out in the cold
Once slavery ended, we still weren’t free
We were denied jobs, the right to vote and equal opportunity

We faced threats, intimidation and constant attack
Separate water fountains and schools, because we were black
Then God raised up Dr. King with a dream in his heart
And he helped lead a movement to give us a new start
People gave up their lives so that we could be free
And have a chance to fulfill our purpose and destiny

We can’t waste the time we have
And believe the lies that have been told
We have to fight; we have to press, even ‘til we get old

As a young black man, I’m proud to be me
I was made in God’s image and born to be free
Born to be free
Born to be free.

This photo was taken at the Solidarity Rally for Mike Brown and all Victims of Police Brutality on August 28, 2014, in Minneapolis at the Government Center. Photo credit: LaDonna Sanders Redmond