“You’re allowed to focus on yourself. Read a book without feeling guilty. Turn up your favorite song. Every day is yours.”

s.s. (stephenstilwell)

Let America Be America Again - Poem by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!

“I want to be part of your life no matter what—that’s all.”

s.s. (stephenstilwell)

In light of recent events, I want to start conversation on issues that matter. I want to use my platform on here to remind everyone that the issue of #blacklivesmatter is not one of politics but an issue of human rights. All lives cannot matter until BLACK LIVES MATTER.

As a black person I implore you to educate yourself, donate, sign petitions, call your local leaders to demand change, check your privilidge and always remember BLACK LIVES MATTER

“I don’t know how to stay tender with this much blood in my mouth.” -Emma Tranter

That being said, I cant stop thinking about when Toni Morrison said; 

“If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”

“In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”

Or when Langston Hughes said;

“I swear to the Lord, I still can’t see, why Democracy means, Everybody but me.”

“Good morning, Revolution you’re the very best friend I ever had. We gonna pal around together from now on.”

“I tire so of hearing people say, let things take their course. Tomorrow is another day. I do not need my freedom when I’m dead. I cannot live on tomorrows bread.”

“I am so tired of waiting. Aren’t you, for the world to become good and beautiful and kind? Let us take a knife and cut the world in two- and see what worms are eating at the rind.”

Or when James Baldwin said;

“To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant rage.”

Or when W.E.B Du Bois said;

“To be a poor man is hard, to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”

Or when Maya Angelou said;

“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.”

“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave me, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise, I rise, I rise.”

Or when Percy Bysshe Shelley said;

“What is Freedom?- ye can tell that which slavery is, too well- for its very name has grown to an echo of your own.”

During these times of revolution, as we seek justice in a world built upon corruption I remind you;

“The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” -Dante Alighieri

“Come, my friends, ‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.” - Lord Alfred Tennyson