“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 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.

“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