We Will Fight Until We Are Free

When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, we were still enslaved.

When General Granger announced the end of the war and slavery in Galveston, Texas, we were still enslaved.

When we were given the vote, we were still enslaved.

When reconstruction began, we were still enslaved.

When Black men were elected to state and federal offices, we were still enslaved.

When states enacted Black and Jim Crow laws, we were still enslaved.

When Black men and women were hanged by White mobs, we were still enslaved.

When we were forced to attend segregated schools, we were still enslaved.

When we were refused services at stores and restaurants, we were still enslaved.

When they burned our churches and meeting halls, we were still enslaved.

When we were denied our legal right to vote, we were still enslaved.

When the federal government refused to enforce our constitutional rights, we were still enslaved.

When black soldiers returned from fighting in two world wars, we were still enslaved.

When southern governors refused to allow Blacks students to attend schools and universities, we were still enslaved.

When three young men were killed in Mississippi while trying to register Blacks, we were still enslaved.

When one million men marched to Washington, DC to hear Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, we were still enslaved.

When college and professional sports teams allowed Blacks to play, we were still enslaved.

When Syracuse University refused to play the University of Texas in the Cotton Bowl, we were still enslaved.

When they killed our leaders and our children, we were still enslaved.

When John Lewis was beaten crossing a bridge in Selma, Alabama, we continued to fight.

When Whites spit on and cursed us, we continued to fight.

When the Federal government refused to pass laws protecting our rights, we continued to fight.

When we gained employment for unequal pay, we continued to fight.

When White policeman arrested and killed Black men and women, we continued to fight.

When we protested police violence and were asked to say his name, we continued to fight.

When the US president compared our peaceful protesters to White supremacists carrying guns, we continued to fight.

When Republican officials found ways to deny our right to vote, we continued to fight.

When racists and bigots denied our right to live free, we continued to fight.

We continued to keep our eyes on the prize.

We continued to sing “We Shall Overcome.”

We continued to embrace others who embraced us.

We continued to raise our voices for equality.

We will continue to fight as long as it takes to be free.

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