Sheriff Jim Clark-Write That I…

Karen Zelaya, poet

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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.

Write that I was Sheriff of Dallas County, Alabama

Tell them that I was a bully

Say that I tried to stop the change

I beat and killed Black folks

Write that I tried to stop Blacks

That I killed Jimmie lee Jackson,

Because I knew my officers were going to raid the march

I knew Jackson was going to protect his family

So I, gave my officers permission to kill on sight

When you write my story, be sure to tell people that my hate killed

That I caused Bloody Sunday

Be sure to tell people that I pulled the trigger behind all those deaths

Tell them that I was a white supremacist til the day I died

That I deputized the posse when the sit-ins were starting

When you tell write my story, be sure to write that I attacked all those Black folks crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge

And I never felt sorry for what I did.

Tell them that I was never in a relationship

I didn’t know how to love anybody

Remember to tell them that I believed I was always doing the “right thing

Write that I never felt regret for what I did.

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Sheriff Jim Clark-Write That I…