(September, 2020. Jacksonville, Florida) - The "greatest free country" in the world has long been defined as the United States. Unfortunately, for over 400 years, an entire demographic has been treated less than. Less than others because of skin color, less than worthy, and less than human.
For nearly 200 hundred years, slavery was accepted and seen as part of a white household's wealth. These black humans were treated as a commodity. When slavery was abolished, the Jim Crow era took over most of the U.S., forbidding Black Americans from drinking, eating, or attending the same schools and White Americans.
In the 1970's it was supposed to be a new era. Most Americans did not know that Black Americans were set up to fail in the false guise of success, like practices in redlining neighborhoods. Now, we're in the middle of a pandemic and a long two years since Colin Kaepernick took a knee. There should have been social action at that time, and in some communities, some action started to stir. Yet social injustice has endured and is apparent with recent police brutality that led to many black men and women's deaths.
Protesters supporting Black Lives Matter have been more active than ever since George Floyd's death on May 25th.
Then just last week, Jacob Blake was shot in the back several times in front of his children and is now paralyzed at 29. From protesting and rioters to a Black Lives Matter movement, even the canceling of NBA playoffs have brought these injustices to everyone's attention. But how does lasting change happen?
There is a lot to overcome to work towards social equality and heal the souls of Black Americans. It all needs to start with removing stereotypes, understanding the black person's perspective of 'free' life in America. Generational strife, freed from slavery without a home or resources, social and economic injustices, and fear of an interaction with police. Then discussions of rectification and healing must occur. One way to start is through James Watson's new musical poem "In the Land of the Free."
With a background of soul-soothing music James Watson begins his lyrical reading, "In the land of the free is where everyone yearns to be." Then with an unexpected twist, you hear about his family's roots of slavery, cotton picking, and the hope of a better life for generations to come. The poem brings to the forefront the wrongs practiced, the mistreatment tolerated, and thought-provoking highlights of the society we are coming to realize as the truth... A society that values someone less because they aren't white.
We all know it's wrong, so let's get together and discuss this poem. Let's move forward “In the land of the Free” where all lives matter and where we all arefree, including you and me.
About Mr. Watson -- James Watson is an author and poet, with a motto to 'Treat Everyone Like Royalty' and leads with the slogan 'Just Make It Happen.' Find his audio poem "In the Land of the Free" through your favorite music library or online store.