I sing that old Negro spiritual
every time they come for me.
They drag my tired old body
down yonder to the lynching tree.
We pass by that old church
where we worshipped in your name.
They burned it to the ground.
All that’s left is just the frame.
I see that old confederate flag.
Sometimes I forget it’s there
But when they call me ‘nigger’,
I know it ain’t going nowhere.
Lest I do forget
let me recall to mind
that old Negro spiritual
“My God is color blind.”
I’ve lived through slavery and Jim Crow.
And I’m tired and in need of rest.
Take me in your arms Lord.
You know I did my best.
I sing this song, a song of love,
I won’t be burdened by hate no more.
The Lord will welcome me home.
I’ll be glad to see heaven’s door.
Shelby I. Courtland
©2015 Shelby I. Courtland
Fires damaged Glover Grove and some other black churches in the days following the murders at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, raising concerns that the incidents were hate-inspired arsons.
Glover Grove Baptist Church is nestled in a woody, quiet part of Warrenville, S.C., surrounded by trailer homes and old cars. The congregation is small, about 35 people, according to local reports. You have to look hard online just to find a phone number or an address.
Hours before President Obama spoke to a packed house in Charleston last Friday in another black church, delivering the eulogy for state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, Glover Grove Baptist Church burned to the ground.
It is one of at least six black church burnings in the South, all of which have taken place in the week-and-a-half since nine people were killed in Emanuel AME Church.
Whatever the cause of the Glover Grove fire, Adonica Simpkins says she will still be afraid. We asked her what it’s like to be a black person in South Carolina.
“I tell you what, I wouldn’t walk down this road. I wouldn’t walk down this road,” she said, sighing as she pointed down the road where Glover Grove sits. “It’s so much hate. You might walk down the road and hear the word n*****, for nothing. People used to be riding by, and just throw bottles at black folks.”
Less than half a mile from the church and Simpkins’ home, a Confederate flag waves on a front porch.
“We had another church that burned down, over across the woods there,”
And while we are busy celebrating same-sex marriage and worrying over fast tracking of the TPP, it is business as usual for Black people in this hellhole and I am supposed to give a damn because someone else feels that their rights are being violated? Seriously? Once again, walk a goddamn mile in MY shoes and then come talk to ME!
Black folks, I sincerely hope that there is indeed a heaven for if there is, you have certainly ‘earned’ your spot and my sincere hope also is that you need have no fear that you will meet up with those that have spewed nothing but hatred towards you because of the color of your skin and because you were dragged, unwillingly, to this shithole.