America… What Have You Done To Me?

A Poem Written By My Grandmother Delores Banks In 1971

It amazes me how prevalent her words were and are till this day 

 

 

Oh, say, can you see
The bitterness you put in me

From the unemployment to the welfare line
Where so humbly we stand through this bitter land

Your broad stripes and stars stripped me of my beauty
By looking down on my blackness and ability
My body breaks from your scorn but my mind remains to be strong

AMERICA AMERICA what have you done to me
This land still won’t let me be free

My father’s father and so on down the chain
Was shot, whipped, and lynched
Were their suffering in vain

Tell me America should I stand up to you and cheer
For all the good things you gave me over here
A lost past, a tortured race, a never ending battle for equality

I want to be free
I want to be free

To achieve what others have achieved
And more the need inside of me is greater than before

If I must fight I will
If I must die I will

AMERICA AMERICA what have you done to me
This land still won’t let me be free

 

“This Land” was written in 1971 by grandmother Delores Banks. At the time she was 21 years old, following the Civil Rights Movement. Due to the current state of America, she believes it is time to voice her concerns on issues that are still prevalent today. We hope this poem encourages the fight for equality among all people.

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