The Dixie Death

By ’n by, way down South

that sleepy ole antebellum way

of honky life got laid low —

had to kowtow to a new master

whose color was darker

with features more Africana.

A newfound integrity

has ultimately laid low

the ole mint julep on the front porch days

of white

privilege

cuz the good ole boys

and gals got laid on them

by the sands of time

a rectified blend of African charm

and a revolutionary new testament of grace.

But the racist honkies

took a long damn time to

figure that part out.

So they were in for a long hard

lesson, but

they didn’t know it yet.

Black folks knew the lesson would be

hard

‘cuz they’d been livin’ it for over 400

years

though it took them a while to figure out

just how stubborn and contrary the whites

could be

when they got that deer-in-the-lights look

in their eyes.

Things got serious

after Brother Medgar was assassinated

in his own front yard

after speakin at the New Jerusalem

Church

And then

the ancient soulful cry of Rachel

weeping for her children was heard

all along the magnolia boulevards

and carefully-tended camellia pathways of white

privilege . . .

here, there and yonder

throughout the black community

and beyond.

Brother Medgar had caught a glimpse

of the Promised Land,

but he never got there

like Brother Martin never got there.

Nevertheless

there was a burning bush down south

h’yeah

where they lived and breathed

and had their being

and worked tirelessly among their people.

Sister Anne, during her last week

at Tougaloo College

accompanied a small group

of intrepid black folk to order luncheon

at a downtown dime-store lunch counter,

following the example of them bruthas

in Greensboro

a few years earlier.

Brother Medgar’s call,

Brother Martin’s call

for voter registration

and just plain-ole freedom

and dignity and justice

was ringin’ out!

It reverberated

from the red clay hills of Georgia

among the magnolias and

carefully-tended camellias

of the Deep South,

formerly thought to be the Solid

South

before it got fracked with a fresh

delirium tremens of

falling-apart white

privilege

and got run outa town

by the great grandsons and daughter

of former slaves.

As the dews of Dixie used to drop on us

so are the pages of that history long-gone

droppin’ down on us

as a decadent dust

cast on us:

Ole mint julep on the front porch white

privilege been sho’nuff proven wrong,

laid down low

in the dust heap of history

Yessir, that Ole South system is now long gone;

but for it I wouldn’t give you a damn dime

’cause the weight of that abuse could not go on

as it broke the back of American liberty

liberty just tryin’

tryin’ to be free!

The weight of our abuse came all tumblin’ down on us

with Rosa’s resolve — her courageous dignity.

She refused to go to the back of the bus,

and so sparked the long-slow death

of segregation integration

in this nation

land of the free

home of the brave:

Brave Rosa!

Rosa’s refusal changed the course history.

But in some ways

we still be traipsin’ along

on that Edmund Pettis bridge

with Abraham, Martin, and John Lewis

Anybody here

seen the long hard-won legacy of Sister Rosa?

Anybody here

heard the death cry of Brutha George?

Glass half-Full and King of Soul.

--

--

--

Author and Publisher of 4 novels: Glass half-Full, Glass Chimera, Smoke, King of Soul; 1000+ blogs, musician, songwriter, poet, 42-year husband and father.

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Carey Rowland

Carey Rowland

Author and Publisher of 4 novels: Glass half-Full, Glass Chimera, Smoke, King of Soul; 1000+ blogs, musician, songwriter, poet, 42-year husband and father.

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