By Ihsan Abdussabur
CGHS Class of 2018

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I’ve been running ev’r since
It’s been a long time, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

I was born by the river in a little tent
Just to be violently drowned from the same water
That was once drunk
All hope in this reality seems to be the one thing that sunk
Along with the fishies that discriminate against me
But there’s a hint to see
That they will never accept thee
The blood, sweat and tears
That my ancestors shed here
398 years ago blacks were known as slaves
Rather than the country’s economic heros
From picking cotton and tobacco
From the big houses that was built from our bare hands
That we couldn’t go near tho?
We were only known as boy-
Nigger and Negro
That was sold
And told not to look at their mastu in the eyes
Because the freedom in this prison
Is one thing that couldn’t hear the cries

I guess we can’t get away from the oppression
That uneducated people believe that is optional
Living these low life moments
That continues to consume me
Seems to be constantly impossible

Set up for failure to be raised in segregated areas
That coincidentally are identified as separated
It’s just a coincidence that the definition of ghetto
Is “an area that is occupied by minorities…”
This is our history!
Jim Crow seems to find it’s way to the 21st century
But it’s plenty to drown off these minorities
But where the hell is the priorities this country needed to face
In order to protect the incorrect constitution
That was meant to correct for all citizens
Going into the deep part of the river again
Invasive species of fishies
That identify as the white supremacist
This is racist!
But immigrants covering their hair
With a religious requirement is considered dangerous
A terrorist?…

But this is simply not fair
But this is…this
…this is the river that the unprivileged are born into
Coming from a womb that holds their innocents
But they are- we are
Truly born into the river as guilty

With no background of swimming in this river of reality
How must one keep its mouth shut, but still over the surface
A way to live, rather than just to survive
Without seeing the future as hopeless…
A way to see setbacks as opportunity
Rather than something to cope…
The realization of your body keeping you afloat
…Hope

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I’ve been running ev’r since

They say it’s the darkest before dawn
But the sun didn’t set yet…
It’s been a long time comin’
But the change we made doesn’t even make a dollar
Our forefathers did not want everyone to succeed
And this belief followed up to today following so much greed

You’re full of shit If this is the land of the free
And home of the brave

Land of the struggles that took so many years to get use to
But now we’re back to square one
Home of the slaves that built this country
That were whipped and called foreign names
As they were forcefully helping immigrants
Kill of people on there native land
Home of the killers discovered by the first terrorist
That thought he landed in india
But he landed in now we know as
The United States Of America

Building a white house that only accepts people
That the name of the house reflected on their skin tone
But history of our recent president disproved that motion
Hard work and dedication
That brung him into white house and up that slope
I was-
we was-
He was born into a river!!!! Of hope…
Him repeating the slogan “Yes we can”
Without having the ability to see a positive future
Surely was influenced by his indigenous hope…
Our indigenous hope

Bringing color to the white house
Color to the representation of the nation
Civil rights activist of this decade
Being filled with sensation -Patience
What you want, won’t last for long
Ancient songs being relevant
The irony being so magnificent
I was born by the river…

Despite his mediocre, misogynistic replacement
We must continue his belief in the love of this country
Feeling the love and hope fill in every body
The love and hope to fill every poem
Every crying, dying, fighting friend – because…
It’s been a long time, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will