ella’s song.

Lyrics and music by Bernice Johnson Reagon, 
Sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock.          We who believe in freedom cannot rest. 
                                                                            We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.

Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons 
Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers’ sons.

The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on 
Is when the reins are in the hands of the young, who dare to run against the storm.

To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail 
And if I can but shed some light as they carry us through the gale.

Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot, I’ve come to realize 
That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survives.

I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard 
At times I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word.

Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me 
I need to be one in the number as we stand against tyranny.

We who believe in freedom cannot rest.                                                                             
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.

 

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About Calenthia Dowdy

Calenthia Dowdy (PhD, American University) is a cultural anthropologist and youth ministry educator who focuses on urban youth and culture in the U.S. and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Alongside teaching, speaking and writing on youth, cities, race, gender, and faith, she serves as the director of faith initiatives at a comprehensive community health center that specializes in HIV/AIDS care