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National Poetry Month: Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy

By Innocence Staff

Photo by Lacy Atkins.

April is National Poetry Month. For the second year, the Innocence Project will participate in the literary celebration by featuring poetry written by current and past clients, exonerees, artists and our staff that reflects on issues related to justice.

Today, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, we are honored to share To Dr. King, a poem by Valencia Craig, the Innocence Project’s case management database administrator and a longtime poet. Craig wrote the poem at the 2018 Innocence Network Conference, at the March for Justice that was held in front of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

To Dr. King

You walked these streets

I have seen all the documentaries

I know the view of that balcony

Where the bullet hit and you fell

I wished I was there without the others

Who had marched, chanting,

Nonviolently, in the tradition you started

I wanted to be alone in the space

To see if I could feel your spirit

I wanted to sit in silence

And bear the shame

That fifty years later

We are still marching

We still have no justice

We are allowed no peace

Our children’s schools are still segregated

Our men and women still enchained

I wanted to say a prayer

That we regain our purpose

Our moral clarity

That we remember who we were

When first you tried to set us free.

 

If you have a poem about justice that you’d like to share, send it to [email protected] or comment below. We’ll be selecting a number of pieces to share on www.innocenceproject.org and on social media this month. Yours might be chosen!

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