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See You When We Get There

See You When We Get There

After the class discussed the project assignments, Liz turned to the main activity she had planned for the day: Several students would be reading aloud their "appeals"-poems or essays inspired by David Walker's Appeal , an impassioned anti-slavery plea published in 1829. Walker, a free Black man, urged slaves to rise up, to fight violence with violence, and to claim their dignity and freedom. Liz had asked her students to compose their own appeals that touched on current or historical issues that affected them, and they had responded, she'd told me, with hard-hitting, provocative, insightful pieces.

Shontell Flowers,* the first to read, waited for the class to settle down before she began.

Today I am writing to bring to your attention
Whether you be white, black, or somewhere in between
I too have decided to break the
patriotic convention
I've found that America is corrupted by politics, and has been washed unclean

By the time she reached the end of that stanza, the only sound in the room was Shontell's voice.

From the beginning, it has been
contradictions, lies, and obscenities
Though poorly blanketed with a
profound disguise
Do you even dare call this cold ground the land of liberty?
Well, I'll tell you what I have read, seen, and interpreted through my eyes

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