Powerful Like Dynamite | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Powerful Like Dynamite


Ken Stiggers

Mr. Teacher: "Ms. Superintendent asked me to close this year's Cootie Creek County Schools Pre-Back to School Teacher Retreat with a brief motivational address. So, I want to share with my fellow teachers a poem I wrote a while back titled 'Tale of Two Teachers':

Once upon a time around 1968,

A drum major for justice was assassinated.

Angry and disillusioned people

In urban cities began to riot

After that night of looting and destruction,

Things got quiet.

Then, the winds of change

Swirled like a tornado of transition

And prompted federal and state government

To re-think their position

About black and white people

Divided into two nations.

The morning after the uprising,

Army soldiers escorted children to their schools.

As a little child, I noticed how the winds of change affected the way

Teachers taught urban students, too.   I witnessed a teacher—who called poor kids dummies—fade away,

To be replaced by another teacher—who said we powerful like dynamite—show us the way.   And were it not for the uprisings and those people who fought for what is right,

Mr. Teacher wouldn't be here sharing his story tonight.   This upcoming school year, Ms. Superintendent advises all Cootie Creek County School teachers to prepare for the potential new wave of students coming from south of the US border. Also, be forewarned that in today's divided nation, the wind of change may come in the form of politicians, wealthy folk and frustrated poor people."

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