Al Young title

BELAFONTE FOR BEGINNERS

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© Karen Johnson

Backstage of My Song, an evening with Harry Belafonte, a KPFA benefit held on the 30th of November at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church

BELAFONTE FOR BEGINNERS

Three years before “I Have a Dream” got preached,
the 1960 March on Washington

propelled us into DC. Once we reached
the Saturday when you were going on,
mean horseback cops reared up to stomp us. “Stop!”
one hollered in a trembling southern drawl.
“Let them kids live!” We thanked this rebel cop
with gut sighs, then we cut straight for the Mall.
You, Harry Belafonte, sang our songs.
You let us know you came down on our side.
Green college kids, we knew what rights, what wrongs
forced us to see you, hear you, while we died.
No caving in. No turning back. Just home.
Calypso? All we heard was: “Daylight, come!“

–Al Young

© 2011 Al Young

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