There is a time in everyone's life; a calling to take a stand and it is your truth.
A star studded sky on a peaceful night,
going to take my girl for a sweet delight.
Friday night is a movie, we agreed to meet.
Popcorn, a soda, listening to her laugh; a treat.
Spring in Atlanta is moonlight and magnolias.
The 1950’s are drive-ins, sock hops, Four Roses
hid away in a flask, for proper dry county days.
Friday nights are love and a little boozing away.
Crossing the town square; I walk to the Strand.
Shadows of trees, benches, statue of a special man.
General Lee on his bronze horse, our valiant legacy.
Men sprawled asleep, cops looking for vagrancy.
Daddy once told me a story about this park.
The family gave land to the city with a condition.
No black bottoms should belong in a seated position.
Inebriated white men were gently re-positioned.
A flashlight beam suddenly hits the cement.
“You sorry nigra, your days are spent”
I should’ve kept walking, like a ghost, just disappear.
But the old black man was a friend, for many a year.
Wally looked so scared, his eyes bugging out.
He wasn’t aware of what Mr. Blue was talking about.
Had no idea he’d done anything wrong,
I cringed, the nightstick swung down, a sick sound.
Tears filled my eyes, poured down my cheeks.
I realised life was easy, my breath so care free.
Never had to worry about nobody but me.
My white life is a gentle wind blowing past oak trees.
A decision was made right then and there.
To speak out for the disadvantaged and treated unfair.
Writing the truth, put out embers of pain filled wraith.
A hurricane is coming, I must forge a peaceful path.
By Kathie Stehr
Jan 5, 2021
From archives of Georgia History: This land for the well known park in Marietta actually had this stipulation in it at one time. The incident described is one of fiction.