Personal Reflection: by Jacqueline Clarke

Today was a great jam packed day of learning, reflection and exposure. My pictures highlight the day but don’t nearly showcase the way my thinking of civil rights has expanded. While at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change Inc., I came across the rose garden where I found student poems that promoted peace and non-violence that inspired me to write a poem reflecting on the day. I hope you enjoy the words below and they bring you to a space of reflection on peace, love and purpose connected to the movement.

Poem Title: Faith, Favor and Forgiveness

Fresh faces demand justice
Youth willing to risk it all
Steadfast to believe that faith can move mountains
Faith in the foundation of our country’s ideals
Faith in a God whose power is surreal.
Favor over those who are willing to risk so much,

 in hope to gain our God given rights.
Favor to mobilize in places and spaces,
As we journey from Atlanta to Alabama, astonished by the sights
The sights that tell the stories of love and non-violence
The guidance and strategic steps that give us the answers we seek
To truly creating a place of peace
Freedom, justice and equality we await
All it takes is one moment; one experience to bait
Bait the system to be put on trial
And for the world to see how we are living in denial
Denial of who racism affects
For it’s not just black peoples who are victims of oppression but the system impacts us all
Helping me to consistently question,
Will we rise or will we fall?
Rise to protect and fight against oppression and hate
Or will we fall into fear of being placed behind iron gates
I’m grateful for today because I’ve learned so much
My lessons today are summed up in these words…
The AUC ignited my mind to wonder
Coretta taught me that the finish line as much as we wish to obtain is nearly in our imagination but we should focus on the love that will get us through.
Rosa, a woman of courage, modesty and majesty
We thank you for your willingness to question authority
I thank you ALL for being the inspiration to put power back into the hands of the peopleBlack youth, black women and black leaders of the past…

Thank you for giving us a blueprint that will last!

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