(Something Inside) So Strong…!

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Reasons to be cheerful (nod to Ian Dury): When I was 4 years old I gained the right to vote unimpeded in the United States of America once I turned 18. The right to VOTE (Voting Rights Act, effective August 6, 1965). The female part of me had this right since 1920 (a travesty in itself), but the Black part of me, no.

I am bountifully blessed to have been born with this civil right already reinforced and conferred upon me, at no small cost. My mother was not, neither was my father, my grandmothers, grandfathers, great-grandmothers, great-grandfathers… all the way back to when my ancestor were brought here in chains, their seed scattered to far reaches to obliterate any feeling of family. And yet… I am not angry at anyone right now.

Instead, I am proud of the fact that in spite of the brutal cruelties that are still within the memory of the LIVING, Black people continue to find happiness, success and prosperity every day like everyone is entitled to do.

Thank you Joanne Walters for bringing this song back to me at the Women Striving for Success Annual Conference. It is one of my favorites, and I had it in high rotation during my days as Music Director at 1340 AM (Lucky 13) WSTA Radio.

It was released in 1987 by Labi Siffre in tribute to the Black South African during Apartheid:

The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The farther you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me
You can decide to turn your face away
No matter, cos there’s….

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

The more you refuse to hear my voice
The louder I will sing
You hide behind walls of Jericho
Your lies will come tumbling
Deny my place in time
You squander wealth that’s mine
My light will shine so brightly
It will blind you
Cos there’s……

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters
When they insist we’re just not good enough
When we know better
Just look ’em in the eyes and say
I’m gonna do it anyway [x4]

Something inside so strong
And I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters
When they insist we’re just not enough
When we know better
Just look ’em in the eyes and say
I’m gonna do it anyway [x4]

Because there’s something inside so strong
And I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me, so wrong
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

“(Something Inside) So Strong” [1987] Labi Siffre

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