Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Here is a poem I wrote about a man who lived in New Haven in the 1800s. It is a work in progress, but I think it will make a good children's picture book as well. So everyone put your hands together for William Lanson:

William Lanson, An American Hero 

Did you know that back in the day
In New Haven long ago
Before you were born
Before I was born
Before your Mom or Dad  or
Grandpa and Grandma were even born

There lived a man in New Haven, Connecticut…
William Lanson was his name
A fine man they say
And a rich man too
Who did a lot for New Haven
And we don’t even have a clue

He was born a slave in Southington, Connecticut
Escaped slavery, came to New Haven
To make a life for himself, you see
He was a mason, a contractor
Yes, he was
And a businessman too

So back in the day
When Blacks were slaves
This man owned hotels and houses in
And around New Haven, that’s true
He was so smart, yes he was
He helped built the Long Wharf in New Haven, you know
So that ships could easily dock
Much the same like when cars need a space to park

But poor William Lanson
Despite who he was
Was harassed by the police sometimes
For no reason at all

They loved to punish him
For presumed “illegal activities”
Like breaking the law and some other stuff
But some people think it was only because
William Lanson happened to be Black!

So one day Mr. Lanson, because of harassment
Began to lose all the property he owned
One by one, they were taken away
And poor Mr. Lanson
Died a poor man!

Sad ending to a beautiful story I know
But lessons can be learned from each tale that is told
Never use power or status to bring down another, cause
We are brothers, no matter our color…
So let us learn from each other, and accept one another
For in the end, it’s all for the better!