Ferguson Revisited

The mission of 12th Street Journal has always been to give a space to the writers and artists of the New School, and to the wider net of our fellow creatives, to voice their experiences as creative and political beings in our, oftentimes, volatile world. This poem, which came to us from New School student, Carlos C. Huerta, is a electric shock right to the heart. It is a beautifully droning lament of the many black men killed for over centuries in America–by America– ending, with all its incensing irony, in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black teenager, by white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9th, 2014. Last night, Wilson was decidedly not indicted by a jury for Brown’s shooting. So it goes…


Ferguson Revisited                                                                                                                 
the rev george lee
shotgunned to the head
fighting for the vote
ol’ lamar smith
killed dead by the law
at ten in the morn’
on the courtroom stairs
for organizing some blacks
emmett louis till
with just fourteen years
.45 to the head
for whistling at a girl
john earl reese
just turned sixteen
was shot while dancing
with his favorite ol’ gal
willie edwards junior
with his friend
mack charlie parker
pushed off a bridge
for dating a white
ol’ herbert lee
blown away by the law
for wanting to vote
the corporal roman ducksworth
the sailor samuel younge
the colonel lemuel penn
military men all shot dead
for thinking their service to the nation
made them something like equal
brother medgar evers
snipped by le beckwith
in front of his kids
for wanting integration
little addie may Collins
little denise mcnair
little cynthia Wesley
little carole robertson
all under fourteen
all bombed in birmingham
for going to church
james earl chaney
andrew goodman
kkk’ed to the same grave
with michael henry schwerner
for believing in freedom
dear miss viola liuzzo
white mother of five
shot twice in the head
for driving with black
then they took the best
doctor martin luther king
with a thirty aught six
straight to the cheek
then breaking the jaw
and cutting the jugular
Right after he said
“play take my hand precious lord
play it really pretty” and sweet

many years later
just one moment ahead
poor michael brown
lay shot on the ground
with hands up don’t shoot
we play it again
like ‘dem good old days


This piece is apart of 12th Street Journal‘s series, “Crisis Expressive,”which focuses on why and how we, as humans, creatively express during personal and public moments of crisis. If you have a story to express, we would be exulted to read it. Submit.