by Deandra Poythress, MSW
Etched in the core of the fabric of our society lies a country in desolation, ruin, and racial insobriety. What began as a plan for European expansion and marketability turned into a nightmare, resulting in segregation, marginalization, and inferiority. Black people became objects of shame; slander and hate was the representation of their names…Laws put in place to keep them bound in hopes that freedom would not be found.
Laws have been enacted to derail minorities from ever obtaining freedom and unity, yet this country which has promised its people “THE AMERICAN DREAM” has instead sold failed hopes and continued systemic oppression. Forward to the 21st century; we now have a wealth of immigrants who are the new faces of our country, yet instead of reforming laws to reflect the changing demands, little is done to protect them. In subtle ways they, like plantation Blacks, are now faced with a dividing line that has yet to be conquered…The 21st century is similar to Jim Crow, except, instead of fighting against racial oppression from whites, people of all ethnic backgrounds are fighting against an internalized system of oppression resulting in cultural wounding because judgment is now based on the “color of one’s skin, instead of the content of one’s character.”
Calling from the roof top, I now sound the alarm for justice to be served. I call for social workers to take a unified stand by opening our mouths and embracing the social advocacy aspects of our profession. Though subtle, oppression is quite visible in the laws enacted to racially profile and culturally divide, leaving ethnic minorities wounded mentally....
Here we are after 50 years since the civil rights movement and the signing of the Civil Rights Act. Let us take a stand in synchronized unity. Echoing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King; “[when will] freedom [truly] ring”!!!
Deandra Poythress is a 2015 MSW graduate of Barry University. She is a Jamaican native who loves to write and sing. Deandra's greatest joys are her husband and four children. The title of this poem was inspired by her Barry University professor, Dr. Mitchell Rosenwald.