BCF- OCTOBER 2020

Page 24

By Teri Jones

What Do I Wear to the Polling Place? Do I dress in my Sunday best like Ida B. Wells, Hair neatly pulled in back, a small string of pearls around my neck Dress flowing, boots polished, Clean from head to toe Don’t want to give a reason for them to say “No!” What Do I Wear to the Polling Place? Do I wear a dress like Fannie Lou Hamer Do I have to pass the literacy test? Will I have to withstand being arrested or beaten Or some unknown crime that I must confess What do I wear to the Polling Place? Do I wear a suit like Coretta Scott King With a matching hat and white gloves, Am I locking arms with the massive crowd As we sing, “We Shall Overcome,” What Do I wear to the Polling Place? Am I styling my big, soft Afro and black leather jacket With my fist clenched high up towards the clouds Like Fredrika Newton am I shouting loud, Yes, I’m Black and I’m proud! What do I wear to the Polling Place? Do I wear a business suit and high heeled shoes like Barbara Jordan or Shirley Chisholm Both were catalysts for change In the Civil Rights Movement