To know and to experience are two different things.
You can tell me that this stove is hot.
But truly understand, I will not.
You can tell me how much the slaves longed to be free.
But I won’t understand until “free” pertains to me.
So I’ll sit here for an hour and a half
listening to this “teacher” speak.
or listening to myself as I read.
Yet, unless you get my soul pumping
all this won’t matter to me.
Especially if you put a number on the board,
and make us teach ourselves.
When really we’d rather be in our beds,
or in some concrete cells.
I’d rather go outside and learn.
Let the world be my teacher.
Or maybe just mix stuff up
in a science class beaker.
Its no wonder that when I hear, I forget.
Like when I hear something I’ve heard before,
and it’s like it’s the first we’ve met.
I heard the slaves were treated wrong.
But I forgot next class.
I heard they used to sing their songs..
When I see, I can remember.
But what use is that?
I saw the blacks chained up in iron,
and how they were treated less than rats.
Yes, it was sad and it was not right.
But it had made no difference to me that night.
Then my teacher had us do an exercise,
where half of us had total power,
and the rest had pain in their eyes.
In that moment, I longed to be free.
And in that moment,
the word “free” pertained to me.
Learning should be like that.
Not where you hear and forget.
Nor you see and remember.
But where you feel their pain and work their land.
Where you do, and you understand.