Wednesday, April 11, 2018

the struggle

Duke Vigil, 1968

fifty years ago, MLK Jr. was murdered,
as if Moses pointed us to the Promised Land
but Pharaoh found a way to keep the Chosen People in bondage, 
two thousand of us at Duke shook ourselves awake from the slumber 
within which privileged America can hide,

we slept on the quad,
supported a union for non-academic employees, Local 77,
reached to pick up and carry the flag, as best we could,
to find how and where America could be healed,

our Vigil eddied, for the media lived the admonition:
“If it bleeds, it leads,” and we didn’t bleed,
except from our broken hearts
that wanted to follow King into a better world,

the struggle continues,
how can any of us be truly free
when our brothers and sisters of color
find it so hard to matter to many?

by Henry H. Walker, Duke '70
April 10, ‘18

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