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Hello world, with this article I would like to pay homage to our forefathers who suffered so as to allow all people of color the right to live as free individuals and claim honorable achievement in every field of human endeavor.
My biological parents and grandparents grew up during the period of "Jim Crow". I never had the best relationship with my grandmother as she held skepticisms of my paternal relation to her son, Thomas. My grandfather taught Thomas how to hustle, by way of solicitation of women and narcotics. This was my childhood foundation. Oddly enough, what I saw as a child were white people contributing to the negligence of the criminal life style of my biological father. Even though I was told that the white man would not allow the colored man to progress in life, it seemed contradictory that the hustlers in my neighborhood got paid from the white man.
It was not until I experienced life outside the criminal element that I understood the struggles people of color dealt with while living a more common life style. When my father's friends would become paroled from prison and stay with us for a time period, they always complained that the white man would not give them a chance to earn an honest living. Even then I thought one had to earn their way through life as oppose to being given something. So when certain guys violated their parole by failing their drug test, I knew that the blame was not the white man.
There have been many doors opened by way of struggle and failure. I am truly grateful that I did not grow up during the era of "Slavery" and the period of "Jim Crow". I would like to think of my self as a resilient man, yet it is truly beyond my comprehension how black folks made it through those times. I understand that many of us died and often gave their lives so as the next generation could survive. So, I acknowledge their gift and recognize that I am apart of this next generation. Therefore I obligate myself to progress in life and live to my full potential. I ask that you, my readers, do the same. Please!
Thank you for helping me cross the river
When there was no shine from the moon
And the darkness covers the scares on my back, welts, old wounds
Thank you for carrying me to freedom
Free from the ills of tics and flee ridden grass beds
Free from labor, sun rise to sunsets
Plowing fields on bloody soles
Growing cotton picked from callus fingertips and toes
Thank you for given hope to the future generations who only feel the emotional pain associated with stories and unfounded claims
Thank you for a hopeful plight, which allowed you to pray and dance at night
Thank you for getting me a smile
Even though they kicked out all my teeth
Is I happy now, is I free
Because I wants to thank you for saving me
You are welcome and I will live to my fullest potential
So that your hopes and wishes are lived through me!
I am free, free to live how I please
Free to work in what ever field I believe suits me!
I promise the sun will shine on your dreams
And I will never live with disregard to the path you created for me!
Thank you, I Am Free!
Alfonzo Tucker is an author, poet and inspirational speaker. Visit www.alfonzotucker.com