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“We are the bridges”: Chicago poet Leslé Honoré connects Bloody Sunday to the Obama Presidential Center

Watch talented Chicago poet Leslé Honoré recite "Bridges," a poem inspired by the powerful speech (Opens in a new tab) President Obama delivered on the 50th anniversary of the marches from Montgomery to Selma. An excerpt from the speech will appear on the exterior of the Obama Presidential Center Museum.

Poem by Chicago Poet Leslé Honoré "Bridges" Bloody Sunday to the Obama Presidential Center

"In that speech, President Obama touched upon all the things that made that moment sacred," Leslé explained. "The lives that put themselves on the front line for change—they are the bridges that link us to their sacrifices and encourage us to be the bridges that move forward."

President Obama, his family, and thousands of people, and John Lewis cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge hand in hand.

Read the full poem:

We the people

Standing on indigenous land

We the descendants of

the enslaved

We immigrants

We dreamers

We good trouble makers

We ordinary heroes

We freedom seekers

We great migrators

We laborers

We artists

We truth tellers

We hope dealers

We who know

That Love is Love

We stand on the victories

Given to us

By broken bones

And Bloody Sunday soaked soil

We the legacy

We cross the bridges

Linking us to our past

Stretching into our futures

Whether they are raised to keep us out

Or lock us in

Whether peril lies in wait

Or they are waiting to be built

We move forward

With an apple

A toothbrush

A book

and hope in our bags

We the promise keepers

We hold the truths

That all of us

Are created equal

We are fighting to form

A more perfect union

We who are not weary

We who shout

Yes We can

We the people

We are the bridges

We Americans