Many times I have closed my eyes and became a part of my ancestors trials and tribulations

Ropes on their necks
Chains on their hands
Whips on their backs
Pain in their souls

Everything spiraling out of control
No one to console them
But the white man to control them

Ropes on their necks
Hanging from the trees like strange fruit
Nothing to see but their feet
Chains on their hands

Whips on their backs
Everlasting scars forever etched
  in their skin
Pain in their souls
They can not win
Mothers wondering when they would catch wind of where their child is

Many times I have closed my eyes and I have wept because I was angry
Angry that my people were ripped away from their culture, then treated like garbage like we asked to be here
Liked we asked to be raped
Like we asked to be Lynched
Like we asked we for anything

Angry because whether we wanted to do anything we couldn’t
We had no power even though we are powerful
Angry because young people like me who now have power to do something aren’t doing anything
Too busy trying to be popular

Many times I have opened my eyes and saw the world around me
Saw that not much has changed

And some how are apart of a deranged system to set us up
And we out here killing each other
Killing our women
Our children
Our future
What is our future?
A grim one?
A slim one?
A no one can win one?

Will we have ropes on our necks?
Chains on our hands?
Whips on our backs?
Pain in our souls?

Like Dr. King said, “Our bodies are tired, and our feet are somewhat sore.”

So I ask you, “What more can I, you, we endure before we start opening up doors?”

Every day I wake up I become a part of my ancestors’ trials and tribulations.

I am so tired of these inhumane situations.

Ashanti Cole-Stallworth, a senior at Evanston Township High School, was among those who made the trip to the Legacy Museum.