Was driving through Kentucky in the US, when suddenly my eye caught sight of miles and miles of stonewalls alongside the road.
“Built by slaves!” said my brother and I stared at the walls and then whispered, “Stop the car!” I got down and walked over to the stonewalls and stared at the flat stones placed roughly one on top of the other even as I seemed to hear faintly through the ages; sounds of soft singing: Agonized, harrowing, painful, it pierced through my soul tearing me apart with the sadness the words and tunes carried!
I could picture the poor black slaves carrying stone after stone, placing them one above the other, stumbling, falling, getting up again as the whip of the white overseer cracked on their backs. And through it all they sang songs of hope, of an escape through death!
Yesterday as I sat at home, I heard those songs again and same tears that filled my eyes in Kentucky spilled down my cheeks. She, Eleanor Valkenburg, sang powerfully well and there wasn’t a soul in the hall who didn’t feel the agony the negro spirituals evoked. “Sometimes,” she sang, “I feel like a motherless child!”
I thought of that poor slave child carrying those heavy stones less than a hundred and fifty years ago, looking up and crying, wondering what she had done to have become a beast of burden, when she could see white children playing, carefree, she had to labor in the sun, drenched with sweat and shielded only by the way she placed stone on her aching shoulder.
And when she lurched under its weight, the overseer’s whip set her straight!
And as the car started again that day in Kentucky, I thanked God slavery was now dead, at least in America.
But the tyranny of the overseer kind reigns!
Tyranny: Where cruel brutal overseers in the form of political leaders use bulldozers instead of whips and subdue protesting voices!
Where political leaders use enforcement agencies to make opposition leaders bow to their policies!
Tyranny where money is used as bribes to make elected representatives voted in on a certain policy and ticket to switch sides!
Tyranny where the poor allow themselves to be bullied because the police in the stations will only bully them more!
Tyranny, where the amount of money in your wallet dictates the justice that a judge hand’s out to you!
Tyranny reigns and whips of a different kind are cracked as walls of other material more severe and harsh than stone, are built.
Such needs to be broken. The world needs men like Abe Lincoln and Gandhi to stand and fight! The world needs you! So that a different song comes from our children; a song of a peace from a sense of justice that reigns.
Let tyranny die, or soon a new slave order will be formed, and you, I, and our children will be the ones feeling the whips of these new overseers ..!
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