Dixie Born

Dixie Born,
Black History Month 2017
Curtis Johnson

Dear Delta Dixie:

In the late summer of 1949, I was born just off highway 49 not far from your mighty waters.
I moved away in 1967, and was ashamed and embarrassed to be native born within your borders.

In my early years, I learned to read, write, and do arithmetic in your segregated schools.
In my father’s garden,  at a very young age, I learned how to plow with a mule.
In the nearest city, I also learned how to sell a new pair of shoes.

For 17 years, your unjust laws oppressed me.
For 17 years, your non-golden rules depressed me.
For 17 years, your social orders stuck to me like glue.
It does not surprise me that you also gave birth to the blues.

In the mid 70’s I was invited by a friend to visit a church he attends.
I was Black and he was White, with no intentions to offend.
The next day my friend’s pastor called to tell me the news.
The reason was not that I had not paid any church dues.
But never was I to return again to sit in his church pews.

I was a Christian just like him,
but I was not welcome to sit in his pews.
Christ had paid for all my sins; but in his church,                                                                                          perhaps that payment was not enough to cover my sins.

Oh Delta Dixie, I have come to terms with you.
It’s been said that home is where your story begins.
And many are my treasured stories born in Delta Dixie.

It was long ago that I overcame the embarrassment.
The Grace of God ushered me over all the pain and shame.
And I have long since forgiven you, just as Christ has forgiven me.
02152017 cj PS

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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