A Booklet of Poetry on the Men, Women, -Black as Well as White,
Young as Well as Old- Who Boarded Buses To Protest and End
Discriminatory Practices in the U.S.A.
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...Excerpt from the Booklet of Poetry:
1961: Shaking The Status Quo
by J. J. Charles, writer/author
Welcome to the Camelot era. Indeed, a new president may bring in much needed change
JFK brings in a new way of looking at things: ensues a general period of malaise and upheaval!
The fruits of freedom that this country promised to her citizens are not enjoyed by all
Huge as well as small winds of change start blowing. To many, the Deep South is out of range
The images of separation, abuse, and daily torment are engraved in the minds of little boys and girls
Parents are fearful of letting their children go on to this mean world that does not spare the weak
The idea is to test and challenge the segregated travel facilities of the South through twist and twirls
Putting an end to Jim Crow that forced black people to use separate water fountains, public restrooms,
Waiting rooms, and back seats is not decided on a whim. Oh well, better to become change freak!
Aboard and onward we go! After all, such inhumane practices were abolished in courtrooms!
Soon the evidence of travels from Washington, D.C. through Charlotte, Columbia, Atlanta, Montgomery, Birmingham, Nashville, Memphis, Jackson and New Orleans shows it is easier to put a man into space
Than to change attitudes, customs, end Jim Crow and discrimination among the human race
Less courageous friends and parents cry as they witness the sacrifice of the freedom riders going merry
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"Singing sustains and energizes us through danger and fear. Through long days and longer nights; through cold, hard winters; and hot, fierce summers, "freedom songs" nurture us, protect us, and keep us sane. They are the expression of our ideology, and the songs we sing together are the pledge of trust and committment that we make to each other."