Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mama's Speech

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We have not done anything. We have not done anything. That’s right. We have not done anything to stop the injustice that roams in the valleys and mountains of this country. We have not done anything to stop our children from facing the cruelty of these white people. We have not done anything to stop inequality slapping the faces of our fellow black friends. But today I am giving you a choice. A choice of living either in a society where we live peacefully and bask in the sands of freedom or in a society where we live trapped by the dark face of inequality and injustice. So let’s make the choice we long for. The choice we know we would like to make.

Something is happening in this world. Something is happening in America. Something is happening in Mississippi. Something is happening right here in this little town. A revolution. A revolution is taking place in this very town which we call our home. Why is it starting I hear you ask? It is happening because they have forced us to. By law, if we kill fellow black man, let alone white man, we are sent straight to God’s house. Yet if a white man kills a black man, he goes unpunished. Everyone here knows what I am talking about. Yet none of us have done anything. But now we will. Oh, yes we will.

Horrendous crimes are going on here, yet the law looks away with a glance. The Wallaces have surpassed the lowest of the low. They have gone down the line of human dignity. So we must fight back. They have killed the nephews of our friend Mr Berry. Plastered them with chicken feathers and turned them into subjects of disgrace. And Mr Berry himself is lying in the corner of his home unable to speak. So we must speak for him. We must voice his words.

Today I am asking you to stand up for your rights. The rights that we have yearned for the last century. I ask you to stop going to the Wallace’s store. Every little thing makes a difference so rise up my friends; rise up from all of this and climb up to the road of dignity...
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