1968

By Melissa Castillo-Garsow
Fordham University, New York

Black Americans in Mexico
with raised fists and gold medals,
black socks, black scarf, long beads.
Airwaves filled with love, not war.
Draft dodging and war protests, while
ten days earlier hundreds fell
in protest-just miles away-when
Black Power ruled the Olympics.

When Black Power ruled the Olympics,
he thinks it’s a year of change.
My father: sixteen and a protester
occupies the University,
watches friends get beaten,
listens to the Doors and Jimi Hendrix, and
loves the Beatles more than anything
porque el cambio viene.

Ten days before they raised fists,
students, workers, poor, families, barrios,
inspired, unorganized, excited, convinced
of spontaneous revolution; so hopeful,
they send military radios and weapons,
ammunition and riot control.
The Pentagon, that is.

No fists, no beads or socks for dead Mexicans,
Imprisoned Salvadorean teachers and
murdered Brazilian teenagers.
Free love to Sergeant’s distortion, while
Yale admits women.

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