Not history

I know the death of the four girls
Addie Mae Collins
Cynthia Wesley
Carole Robertson
Carol Denise McNair
Killed as a result of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church
In Birmingham, Alabama
On September 15, 1963
Only as history

But the murders of the nine adults
Reverend Clementa Pinckney
Reverend Sharonda Singleton
Dr. Daniel L. Simmons
Mrs. Ethel Lee Lance
Mrs. Cynthia Hurd
Ms. Myra Thompson
Mrs. Susie Jackson
Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor
Mr. Tywanza Sanders
Murdered on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
In the Emanuel AME Church
In Charleston, South Carolina
Almost 52 years later
By the same weapons
This is not history to me
And ushered in unexpected levels of grief
Which seem to grow with each passing day

For the spouses and children
Siblings and grandparents
Uncles and aunts
All whose lives have been unequivocally changed
Including my own

“We have come,” wrote James Weldon Johnson,
“over a way that with tears has been watered,”
“We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered”
Oh, God, why are we are still on this path more than half a century later?
“God, of our weary years,
God of our silent tears
Thou Who has brought us thus far on the way”
Give us grace
Give us strength
Give us unwavering courage and resolve
To eradicate racism and prejudice from our own hearts
And be instruments of Your peace, justice, and reconciliation in our broken world


© E. Wright 2015



2 thoughts on “Not history

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