With it being the last week of the month, I wanted to do another Black History related post.

In school, I loved reading poetry that had a deeper meaning and really made me think about life on a deeper level. So, today I thought I’d share 5 powerful poems about freedom that everyone should read. I’ll link them all and give you a quick summary about what they each mean to me.

1. Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

This poem compares the life of a free bird to that of a caged bird. The purpose of this poem is to convey the differences between freedom and isolation/slavery. What’s interesting is even today we’re still somewhat isolated in the sense that we’re not always treated equal despite being “free.”

2. I, Too by Langston Hughes

What I love about this poem is how optimistic Hughes is. He’s letting us know that he’s just as American as the next person regardless of his skin color. Though he says “I, Too”, I believe that Langston is speaking for everyone who has suffered at the hands of injustice. I love that he’s hopeful for the future. I think that’s something we can all learn from him – to remain proud of who we are no matter what and to also be hopeful for our future.

3. Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

In this poem, Hughes discusses the fact that America hasn’t lived up to what it claims to be – “the land of the free.” The poem forces you to ask yourself, especially those of you who support Trump’s “make America great again” ideology, “has America has ever been great?” Hughes answers that question in the poem, and he calls us to action at the end, declaring that we take back our land so America can finally be America.

4. Bury Me in a Free Land by Frances E. W. Harper

We learn in this poem that Harper’s only wish is to be buried in a free land. She reveals that even in death, she won’t be able to rest as long as there is slavery and injustice in the world. I think we can all agree with Harper.

5. Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall

This is a very powerful (and sad) poem. The events in this poem are very relevant to today. We live in a world where we fight so hard to protect the ones we love. In the poem, the mother keeps her daughter from attending a freedom march out of fear that she might get hurt and tells her to go to church instead only to later find out that her daughter was murdered at the church. Today, our experience is quite the same; the places we expect to be safe are now becoming some of the unsafest.

I hope you all read and take time to understand these poems. Let me know which one resonates with you the most.

Xx,

Kristen

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