“Martin Luther King Jr. Mourns Trayvon Martin” by Lauren K. Alleyne

For you, son,
I dreamed a childhood
unburdened by hate;
a boyhood of adventure—
skinned knees and hoops,
first loves and small rebellions;
I dreamed you whole
and growing into your own
manhood, writing its definitions
with your daily being.
I dreamed you alive, living.

For you, America’s African heir,
I dreamed a future
of open doors, of opportunity
without oppression,
of affirmation and action,
I dreamed Oprah and Obama
I dreamed Colin and Condoleezza
I dreamed doctors and dancers,
lawyers and linebackers, models,
musicians, mechanics, preachers
and professors and police, authors,
activists, astronauts, even,
all black as Jesus is.

I dreamed you dapper—
the black skin of you
polished to glow; your curls,
your kinks, your locs,
your bald, your wild,
your freshly barbered—
all beautiful.

I dreamed you wearing whatever the hell you want
and not dying for it.

For you, brother,
I dreamed a world softened
by love, free from the fear
that makes too-early ancestors of our men;
turns our boys into targets,
headlines, and ghosts.

I had a dream
that my children will one day live
in a nation where they will not be judged
by the color of their skin
but by the content of their character.

Sweet song of my sorrow.
Sweet dream, deferred.
For you, gone one, I dreamed
justice—her scales tipped
away from your extinction,
her eyes and arms unbound
and open to you
at last.

LAUREN K. ALLEYNE is the author of Difficult Fruit and the forthcoming collection Honeyfish, the assistant director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center, and an associate professor of English at James Madison University.

Poem via The Atlantic.

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)  was killed fifty years ago today.

“Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2, performed by John Legend

“Pride (In the Name of Love)” performed by John Legend

 

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go.
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow.

In the name of love
What more in the name of love.
In the name of love
What more in the name of love.

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed up on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss.

In the name of love
What more in the name of love.
In the name of love
What more in the name of love.

Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky.
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride.

In the name of love
What more in the name of love.
In the name of love
What more in the name of love.

In the name of love
What more in the name of love.
In the name of love
What more in the name of love.

Songwriters
U2: ADAM CLAYTON, PAUL HEWSON, LAURENCE MULLEN, DAVID EVANS

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

lyrics via U2.com

 

(Words for the Year is currently on hiatus, but we wanted to share John Legend’s beautiful performance in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.)