Roots – by Guest Poet Paula Shockley

Roots_paula_shockleypoem

I hope this poem inspires people to see all that’s happening through a lens of hope. I believe a new day is slowly dawning, and we’ve got to be ready to rise. I pray we will!

—Paula Shockley

About the Author:

11267828_10206631025917172_642373251_nPaula and I first met about 20 years ago at my home church, Metropolitan United Methodist Church, on Lafayette Square in West Baltimore. At the time, her father was serving as pastor and Paula was attending high school. I was a “young” adult (nearly 40), active in the choir and our visitation and prayer ministries. We only knew each other as fellow church members, and after Paula graduated high school and college, our paths completely diverged. We have just recently reconnected, and my first real glimpse of the woman Paula has become—through her poem, Roots—knocked me off my feet!

I asked Paula how she came to write this poem—on April 21, 2015, in the midst of BaltimoreUpRising. Her answer:

“I wrote the poem, honestly, because God moved me to write it. This may sound strange, but when God is giving me something to say (or sing, as most of what I’ve written has been songs) my mind won’t rest easy until I have written it down. Prior to writing Roots, I had been noticing that people were feeling dismayed by the seeming escalation of violence against blacks (men, specifically) from police and supposed figures of authority. I, however, was feeling hopeful. Since the Travon Martin case, more stories of injustice have been publicized by the media, but these cases were not new – these things have always gone on, but they were not seen as a problem by anyone but us, black Americans. Now the cry of injustice was beginning to come from others. We hate to see our men (brothers, husbands, sons) mistreated, and we have often felt we had no recourse. But the nation is finally waking up, and having these incidents, broadcasted and condemned by the greater population, is the only way to change. I hope this poem inspires people to see all that’s happening through a lens of hope. I believe a new day is slowly dawning, and we’ve got to be ready to rise. I pray we will!”

I want to thank Paula for agreeing to be my first Featuring Guest Author writer. I am honored and humbled to share her work in this space.


One thought on “Roots – by Guest Poet Paula Shockley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s