“Birth Mark” A Poem by Nancy Dillingham
As you might know by now that our featured artist for the summer is Nancy Dillingham. Nancy is both a poet and writer and her work will be featured all summer as part of our Year 2020: A Public Art Project.
“Birth Mark” was part of her first set of 2020 poems and one that we wanted to share with you.
“America was born with a birthmark.” Condoleezza Rice
Home of the Brave
give me a world where the birthmark
has been blurred, obliterated
where greedy landowners
didn’t crave slaves
where untold souls
didn’t have their lives taken
for picnics and parades
ice cream and baseball
souvenirs and photo opts
I long for a land where the words
of our own lady of the harbor
Give us your tired, huddled masses
yearning to breathe free
no longer ring hollow
* Between 1882 and 1962, 4,000 blacks lost their lives in lynchings.
** Lynchings occurred about once a week for 80 years. In 2016, 266 blacks lost their lives to police shootings. This was an average of 5 people killed per week.