A Dead Man’s Dream
POETRY FORMAT, 4 Feb 2019
Short but poignant poem written by black poet/musician Carl Wendell Hines soon after Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965. The poem has also been appropriately associated with the death of Dr Martin Luther King and his legacy of nonviolent struggle for black liberation, freedom, equality, economic justice and the pursuit of happiness for all.
Now that he is safely dead,
Let us praise him.
Build monuments to his glory.
Sing Hosannas to his name.
Dead men make such convenient heroes.
For they cannot rise to challenge the images
That we might fashion from their lives.
It is easier to build monuments
Than to build a better world.
So now that he is safely dead,
We, with eased consciences will
Teach our children that he was a great man,
Knowing that the cause for which he
Lived is still a cause
And the dream for which he died is still a dream.
A dead man’s dream.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Feb 2019.
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