And Then I Woke Up – Poem for Sundiata

This poem was written by Rochell “Rodeezy” Hart for Sundiata as part of the Sept. 22nd Day of Poetic/Hip Hop Action for Sundiata Acoli. It responded to the prompt Sundiata created called Senses of Freedom: “What would freedom look/smell/taste/sound/feel like after the revolution?”

September 22, 2014

© Rochell D “Ro Deezy Hart

“… and then I woke up”

© Rochell D “Ro Deezy Hart

A response poem for the Sundiata Acoli Campaign show, responding to the question, “What Will Freedom Look like after the Revolution”

It was a beautiful day

‘round my way

Little pig tailed brown girls double dutchin on the block

It’d been years with no news of an unarmed black man gettin shot

By the cops

Who, by a power that only could be divine

Had managed to straddle that line

That made them human again

Officer friendly no longer a fallacy but an actual was a community friend.

The only traces we could find

Of a school to prison pipeline

Were in books documenting the oppressive history

Of the poor and of the people who looked mostly like me

But that reality was long gone

And now revolutionary freedom songs

Were school anthems and an allegiance was pledged

To the blood that had been shed

In our journey.

And then I woke up

Like what the F—k

We still marchin and protestin

Civil unrestin

Routinely, unarmed, gunned down

Oscar Grant, James Jahar Perez, Mike Brown

Kendra James

My pain

Is the same

As those chains

Because we aint free

I see the pictures of history

Concurrently with present reality

Kimani Gray

I fight and pray

For a world where your story

Does not exist

Until then, I fervently resist

Timothy Russell

I struggle

To fight back tears,

137 rounds by Cleveland Cops is what ended your years

And you, like all the others, were armed only with your skin

Just like Timothy Stansbury Jr., Brooklyn, pigs acquitted, AGAIN

Not to mention economic oppression and the war on drugs

Ha! Let us arrest and detain the real thugs

29 members of Congress accused of spousal abuse,

21 are current defendants in lawsuits,

But their hands are up so I guess they didn’t shoot

The fire next time has arrived in a Ferguson blaze

For the first time in a long time, the path is tangibly made

For change

Warriors ready to ride

To the other side

Of freedom – more than in a social context

Freedom, built on mutual humanness and respect

Freedom, built on the eradication of all oppression

Freedom, where the dream of that

beautiful day

‘round my way

Can manifest

Freedom, where my soul can rest

While living

Til then

we will keep giving

‘em hell


With every cell


The sun of true freedom, rises.