Juneteenth Poems - Poems For Juneteenth

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Free At Last - Juneteenth Poem. (Revised) - Poem by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

General Granger brought the news to
Galveston: "The war is over! "
President Lincoln signed a decree;
The Emancipation Proclamation
declares, "All who live in bondage here
shall from now until be free."
After 300 years of forced labor;
hands bound, descendants of Africa
picked up their souls - all that they
owned - leaving shackles where they fell
on the ground, headed for the nearest
resting place to be found.
Some went no further than the shack
out back; oft only a lean-to shed -
hard ground for a bed; hard labor, no
pay, but the will to survive.
‘though they couldn't call it their own,
They still declared, "this is my home."
Some went to the nearest place of the
Lord; to some hollow place in the
brush or to a clearing in a grove
where folk gathered ‘neath a still standing
tree and sang, "Thank you
Jesus, for delivering me."
Some ran as far as they could go
into the service of the man
on the neighboring land
Working for a pittance
and a little plot of space
much like they did as a slave.
Some made a beeline for nearest saloon
singing a song, picking a tune;
toasting the Union and Lady Luck,
settin' da flo, dancing the jig and the buck;
patting themselves on their whip-scarred backs;
carousing from night into day.
Some went the way of the river,
following the Rio Grande
or swimming the up-flowing Mississip.
Hastening to get as far as they could -
thrusting their futures into sanctuary and
friendless unknown territory.
Some kept running like a stone on a
hill - never to grasp a firm place to rest.
Some even went to the promised land;
Wherever they went alone or abreast
At the end of their journey, they cried,
"I've done my best."
Every year in the Lone Star State, and
in towns from sea to sea,
sons and daughters of the ones who
were held celebrate the time when
their forebears got the news -
"the war was over; all men were free."
They will always remember;
they will never forget Juneteenth
When their forebears could shout,
"Free at Last! Hallelujah, I'm free."

Comments about Free At Last - Juneteenth Poem. (Revised) by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

  • Howard Savage 1/8/2016 9:46:00 AM

    It came late but what a feeling by those slaves that received the news, Reply

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  • Gajanan Mishra 6/16/2013 6:31:00 AM

    freedom is man's birth right, don't put man in chain. Nobody has right to put another man in chain. good poem.
    I invite you to read my poems and comment.
    Reply

    0 person liked.
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Juneteenth Poems
  1. 1. Free At Last - Juneteenth Poem. (Revi..
    Sojourner Kincaid Rolle
  2. 2. Juneteenth Fireworks Haiku
    Chenou Liu
  3. 3. Juneteenth - On June Nineteenth
    Chris Lane
  4. 4. Juneteenth
    Sidi J. Mahtrow

New Juneteenth Poems

  1. Inspired By Esi Edugyan's Book - Washing.., Gayathri B. Seetharam
  2. Juneteenth Fireworks Haiku, Chenou Liu
  3. Praying For You, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  4. Message From The Ancestors, Omoanatse Agbugui
  5. Free At Last - Juneteenth Poem. (Revi.., Sojourner Kincaid Rolle
  6. Juneteenth, Sidi J. Mahtrow
  7. Juneteenth - On June Nineteenth, Chris Lane

Juneteenth Poems

  1. Juneteenth - On June Nineteenth

    `Juneteenth - On June nineteenth An emancipation day celebration for African-Americans And although emancipation, originally granted effective January 1863 News, slow in traveling never reached Galveston Texas 'till 1865, approximately two and a half years later. The civil war had ended two month earlier Union Major-General Gordon Granger declared as he read - General Order Number 3 To all those assembled in Galveston there. Massa John, his brother Michael and their first cousin Abel Kane took the news rather badly even though one final harvest for free had been brought in. One hundred years later hard fought civil rights gave emancipation true meaning Another fifty years would pass before the arrival of the first African-American President. © Calac General Order Number 3 'The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer'

  2. Juneteenth

    Celebrate little children For the time is nigh, soon to become 'what might have been.' It's time for marching and dancing in the streets As you have been promised many public treats. The reason for the occasion Is hardly cause for celebration As escape from bondage by a few Has entrapped mankind in a fetid stew. With Government now playing a heavy hand Let no one escape; children, woman or man ‘Tis the season when change is in the air Time for joy (so they say) , and not despair. But wait – there's more, much more For there is no escape from their lore That promotes freedom at any cost (While removing it from all, by the Mighty host.) So while 'slaves' in Texas were made free Some two years late, in jubilee All who came after have become enmeshed In a web of Government; 'freedom' blessed. Now black, white and all colours of the spectrum Have no place to turn or run For their lives once again they owe To the regulation 'store' from which they cannot flee. Celebrate Juneteenth one more time But remember, Socialism is, in itself a crime* *crime - Any grave offense against morality or social order. (Webster)

  3. Juneteenth Fireworks Haiku

    barbecue smoke billowing across the white picket fence Juneteenth fireworks FYI: "Despite the lack of federal recognition, Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or the Black Fourth of July, has lived on through rich traditions, including lively celebrations in the form of festivals and parades with local bands playing, storytelling, picnics, fireworks and a Juneteenth staple — barbecues."