We Shall Overcome

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Listen.

Woke up this morning with my mind
Stayed on freedom
Woke up this morning with my mind
Stayed on freedom
Woke up this morning with my mind
Stayed on freedom
Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah.

Listen.

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round,
Turn me ’round, turn me ’round.
Ain’t gonna let nobody, turn me ’round.
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-talkin’,
Marchin’ on to freedom land.

Listen.

We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day.
Deep in my heart I do believe
We shall overcome some day.

It was the music of the people, the music of the day. I was around fourteen years old, and I vividly remember the day in 1963 when the Alabama National Guard surrounded my school. I remember my fear of having to walk through their clasped arms. I remember the one, lone student — Richard — who integrated the school that day. I wondered all year as I saw him walk the halls alone if anyone ever spoke to him even once.

So what is the music of this day? It’s still a time of fear and division. We have battles to fight. Yes, racism is still one of them. So is misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, violence, terrorism, criminal justice inequality, human trafficking . . . and the list goes on.

But we can overcome, even in these troubling days. We don’t clasp hands and march together much these days. We don’t embrace one cause and walk together as one very much. But what is most troubling is that we have no music.

I pray that together we will target the wrongs of our day and walk together towards freedom, lifting our voices in one powerful crescendo, singing the songs that give us courage and determination. We shall overcome someday.

Listen. Can you hear the music?

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