Bettie Mae Fikes-Write That I…

Bettie Mae Fikes-Write That I...

Tyra Hight, poet

In Ms. Rucker’s Intro to the Civil Rights Movement class, students memorialized the legacies of historical actors from the Black Freedom Struggle by using the poetic prompt, “Write that I…” See other poems in the “Student Work” section of the Lion’s Roar.

When you write my story, say that things that I put my energy into

are important

When you write my story, say that I’m from Selma, Alabama

getting out of poverty was my thing

why kill me?

why make me suffer?

but it’s OK

tell them that I’ll just SING all around the country

Tell them that I’m the one who sing “This Little light of mine”

Tell them that my singing helped numerous of people


When you write my story, say that SNCC wanted me

because they found out I was a walking singing stick

no I don’t find that disrespectful

because they are helpful

tell them that I’m not stepping down

because I’m brown

tell them that I’m going to sing in Chinatown

where the people of color appreciate me.

tell them that I’ll fight for voting rights

tell them that I traveled when I sing

I don’t just sing in one place

Don’t criticize my race