“I want to be as free as the spirits of those who left”

I want to be as free as the spirits of those who left
I’m talking Malcolm, Coltrane, my man Yusef
Through death grew conception
New breath and resurrection
For wrongs, new steps in a direction
In the right way
Told her, “inside is where the fight lay
And everything a nigga do may not be what he might say.”
Chicago nights stay, stay on the mind
But I write many lives, they, lay on these lines
Wavin’ signs of the times
Many say the grind’s on the mind
Shorties blunted-eyed and everyone wanna rhyme
Bush pushing lies, killers immortalized
We got arms but won’t reach for the skies
Waiting for the Lord to rise
I look into my daughter’s eyes
And realize that I’mma learn through her
The Messiah, might even return through her
If I’mma do it, I gotta change the world through her
Furs and a Benz, Gramps wantin ’em
Demons and old friends, Pops, they hauntin’ him
The chosen one from the land of the frozen sun
Where drunk nights get remembered more than sober ones
Walk like warriors, we were never told to run
Explored the world to return to where my soul begun
Never looking back or too far in front of me
The present is a gift
And I just want to be

Today as I was bombarded by reflection on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s, “I have a Dream” speech I thought about privilege, discrimination, empathy, bias, moral and values. There is something to be said by the overall public conception that Dr. King’s dream has been reached. While the gross majority of the public lives without the day-to-day struggle of whether there options were limited because of their race this is a fact that all black live with.

After listening to all that I could stand about the anniversary I sat and turned on my music as I normally do. I heard Common’s (intro) – Be , start . This track makes me reflect a great deal on not what is happening in the world but what is happening with me. The thing about the gross misconception and perception of racism and discrimination is that it starts with the single individual. IF each person would examine their thoughts, values and  morals we would see that it is the choice of each individual adding to the collective that this is still perpetuated. ]

The first part of the song was chosen as the title because I truly do want to be free as the ones who left. The embodiment of a moral man who would hold steadfast to what he believes conveying this in every action.

Common then speaks to the wrongs that we do and everyone has done something wrong. Failure is not the issue it is how we right those wrongs and progress. What we say or do to move forward in our journey.

For wrongs, new steps in a direction
In the right way

Told her, “inside is where the fight lay
And everything a nigga do may not be what he might say.”

The intro progress with the description of things we experience, images projected by the media and the daily influences from peers. Our inner demons and issue that we struggle to fight and then culminates with the line below.

Walk like warriors, we were never told to run
Explored the world to return to where my soul begun
Never looking back or too far in front of me
The present is a gift
And I just want to be

I know that the present is a gift and with each day that passes this song make me strive to live it to the fullest. Even though today is the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a dream” speech and it is far from a reality we have made great strides in making it closer. In listening to Common’s (intro) song “Be”. I realise that the journey must start with each individual realizing their full potential and being the most of the person we want to.

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