An Interview with Zach Winters

Author: John Lucas Kovasckitz, with Zach Winters


I met Zach Winters a couple of years ago, when he and his family came through Boone to play a house show. Zach truly brought the Magic to the room.

Zach’s recorded music is both whimsical and passionate, soft yet fierce. It’s music you put on for a nice game of backgammon, music that you play while you’re cooking a meal with intention…music to pair crackling fires and red wine, and with a good book and your favorite quilt while it rains.

It’s music for the beautifully ordinary moments that you want to treasure further. Your experience may differ, but this has been mine.

Zach and I didn't talk much the night we met, but later struck up a conversation that has budded into a thriving internet friendship. I’ve come to know Zach as a man who drinks life deeply. I’ve come to know him as a worthy chess opponent (I’m 2-0, but the wind was in my favor). I’ve come to know him as a man of bravery.

Zach and his wife, Lane, took the plunge to pursue his music full-time 4 years ago, with their three kids in tow (the first video below - from 2017 - gives some insight into this leap). Zach and his family recently returned to the U.S. after living in Mexico for a year, where Zach produced and recorded his upcoming album. It’s set to release sometime in October (…and I got to add some tasty piano from my living room).

While you wait, check out his past catalog and his surprise EP “Any Other Night” that was just released this week.

Without further ado, here’s Zach.

What made you first fall in love with music? Bonus: I’m also intrigued to know what young Zach Winters was like.

How about three first loves?

Probably my first first love in music was growing up in church where we sung hymns every Sunday. It's an older stone church with big arches and stained glass, and there was something stirring about all of those voice raised in that vast space. And I think growing up watching my father consistently moved to tears on a Sunday morning also made its mark on that early love.

My second first love was when I fell in love with hip hop and R&B in elementary school. At one point, young Zach Winters had a flat top with his basketball number etched in the back of his head. Hip hop and basketball were connected for me through my friends I hung out with at school. I used to record the "Phat(?) 8 at 8" from the radio to cassette tape. I even edited out the radio swear words with a little record button overdubbing... Once I asked my friend to secretly go into the record store in the mall and buy me the new Roots album and put the "On Sale" sticker over the "Parental Advisory" sticker so my parents wouldn't see. Outkast, Tupac, Biggie, Bone-Thugs, Mary J Blige, Aaliyah, Crucial Conflict—these were my loves in this season of life...

My third first love is the guitar.

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I think for a lot of people, individual dreams tend to become a lot more stable and safe after having children. This has not been the case for the Winters family. What have been some of the joys and struggles for you and Lane, particularly as parents, who haven’t shied away from big leaps?


Wait—are you saying I'm unstable and unsafe? Jkjkjk... Yeah, my wife Lane deserves a lot of credit. I didn't marry a skittish woman. She's consistently been an optimist and a dreamer and has emboldened me to take steps I might not have otherwise.

As for me, for a long time I thought having children meant a very real death to follow. I don't know where I heard this, but I had pocketed the idea that "once you have kids, your life is over [and it's now only about them]". And there's a way that that's true—giving of yourself and dying to yourself in a new way. But I don't believe it's true in all ways. I think God gives people dreams that are often expanded and fulfilled through children. Kids have a way of breaking me out of my tunnel vision. I thought that having kids would mean God would sort of give up on Plan A and put us on the B team—that we'd forego something big for something normal and lesser. But when I read the stories of Abraham and David and others, I don't see fathers that have to "give up the dream" because of their kids—I see fathers whose callings are meant to be walked out in family, and whose purpose on the earth is intimately tied to their legacy. And I don't think this has to be a strictly biological legacy...

Anyways, joys and struggles? Well, it's easier to get from point A to point B without three kids in tow. And snacks are more important. But I think joys win out easily. For example—Lane and I like to go on hikes. We can't do as many miles with the three, but you know how you get to an opening in the trees and you look out over a vast sea of forest and it's beautiful, so much that you want to share it somehow? Well, now you have full-blown shock of a 3 year old on your back who says something crazy like, "I think I see a beaw down thewe!" and a 7 year old who reminds you that we all need snacks, and a 10 year old who asks great hypotheticals like, "How long do you think it would take to walk to that peak over there?" Plus, kids are amazingly flexible and they sort of get used to whatever is "normal" for them. So our kids can do back to back to back 8 hour days in the car. I personally try to avoid that, but they can do it and we can actually have a good day together without feeling like we're gonna bite each other's throats. And not wanting to biting each other's throats after four annual 2-month tours as a family has been a wonderful surprise and an absolute dream.

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You and your family have been living in Mexico while you’ve been working on the new album for the past year or so. How has the change of culture and surroundings bled into your songwriting, and even your outlook on the world and your place within it?

Honestly would love to hear my kids answer the second part [I asked them, but they were less forthcoming and flowery than you might imagine]. Personally, I'm hoping to put out a little Spanish EP or something in the next couple years. Yucatán (the state we were living in) was amazing in ways we didn't know to expect. It has a distinctly different culture of food and dance and dress and sleeping in hammocks. Just like in the US, there's a lot of regional differences between areas in Mexico. I think my best answer to the second part of your question is that I know now that I have many homes all throughout Mexico in which I would be welcomed as family. This is one of the greatest gifts I know.

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I’ve witnessed firsthand the influence you have over a room with simply your voice and a guitar. What do you think is at the essence of the magic of (good) live music, and what do you hope to share or to convey with those that come to see you play?

Ouf... I loooooove recorded music, but live music really is a different animal. I don't know that I can name the essence of good live music, but I think a consistent theme I see is artists who are able to bring forward some essential and almost transcendent aspect of what it is to be alive. The great drama of living through song. Life is beautiful and terrible, simple and vague—it's always slipping through your fingers and patting you on the back... It is a lullaby and a fight song. And when an artist can fuse our real human experiences into a moment through sound, and when they bring their own living presence into the room and show us what it means to be alive... I'm trying to find some handles on something I don't think is expressible, because I also think it's as varied as the number of humans there are or have been or will be on the earth... Also, thanks.

Ah, and I would say I hope people feel stirred to be more creative—I hope they desire to be more alive—I hope they see a window into some peace that they might not think they could go to anymore—I hope they feel rest—I hope they feel liberty to cry and/or let their guards down—I hope they feel more hopeful—I hope they feel permission to be themselves—I hope they laugh harder than they were planning—I hope they see a man in love.


Within a pursuit that holds much of your passion and efforts (i.e. parenting, your music, your dreams for the future, etc.) what is a fear that you hold, and what causes you to keep moving forward?


I have many fears. Most of them are useless hypotheticals, like "I could be broadsided on the way across town." Things you can't control for. But time keeps me moving forward. And time also reminds me that I am one frail, fleeting life and I ought to try and live it the best I can.

Maybe a more specific fear in music is when I finish a new album and I start thinking about another, I get afraid that maybe I'll have written my last song—maybe I don't know how to write anymore... And fortunately, I'm usually more curious than afraid, but a white sheet of paper can be a scary thing. But if I'm ever musically grabby, something I'll do sometimes is just waste some music on God. Say some things and sing some things that no one else will ever hear. Give your heart and some of your best ideas, and let them fall to the ground and don't try to collect them... This for me reminds my soul what it is to give a song, and frees me from holding too tightly to my songs.


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Support Zach’s work / grab tour tickets through his website.

Follow on Instagram / Spotify.

I am a Mother.

By Danielle Kovasckitz

I never knew how much I wanted to be a mother until I became one.
& I certainly had no idea how much miscarrying my first child would hurt.


These past few months have been a whirlwind of emotion for Luke and I. In the midst of finishing up this semester of school and working toward becoming licensed foster parents, I discovered I was pregnant. We hadn’t been on birth control for months, and were certainly aware of how babies are made, yet somehow those two pink lines shocked me to the core. I’m going to be a mom...I am a mother. I told Luke in a manner that was opposite of cute. I threw the lights on in our bedroom while he was half asleep and shoved the pregnancy test in his face. “Is that a second line?!”
...It clearly was.

We told some of our closest friends and family. We talked about what this meant for our growing family. We were excited, and I made appointments for the months to come. Luke started writing poetry to our little mustard seed. We were going to be parents.

From the moment I realized I was pregnant, I was terrified of miscarrying. I knew the statistics: one in four pregnancies would end in miscarriage. I was aware of women in my community who had miscarried but had never walked through it closely with a friend. Every time I went to the bathroom I feared blood. I spoke truth over my tiny babe, trying my best to choose hope over fear with each new day. I envisioned what it would be like to watch as my womb grew with life. What it would be like to one day feel this tiny human move around inside of me. I became amazed at what my body was capable of. I grew more in awe of what it means to be a woman. I was exhausted.

A month ago, my worst nightmare became true. I miscarried our sweet babe in the middle of the night. I’m not sure I have ever cried so many tears. Luke and I held each other and mourned the loss of our small child. The days that followed left me feeling hollow. I don’t believe that anything could have prepared me for the depth of this hurt, the personalness of this loss. Grief is a weird creature and there are still days that I feel as though I am drowning. On harder days I am extra thankful for the people in this small mountain town.

I have been humbled by the vulnerability of other women sharing their stories of loss. I’ve connected with women through social media, women in my community, professors at my college, and been supported by friends and family more than I could have imagined. I am finding a deep beauty in communal grief and vulnerability.  

I do not pride myself on my ability to cry or be vulnerable. It is not a strength that I find in myself. Yet, I know that this season would be so much darker for me had other women not been brave enough to share their stories. My friends would not have been able to bring me food or book massages or hold space for me to process had I not shared my loss with them.

I needed to write this. I needed to add my voice to the resounding #ihadamiscarriage. I want to celebrate the life that I held, no matter how short. I want other women to know that they are not alone in their grief. I need to speak truth over my own life. Perhaps you need to speak it over yours as well.

My body did not fail me.

My miscarriage is not my fault.

My grief is not dramatic.

I am strong.

I am fierce.

I am a mother.

I will hold life again.

I spend a lot of time reading posts written by other women who have lost their babes too early. A recent post held a quote from Garbes’ Like a Mother, “Miscarriage helped me understand that we become mothers not, as books and websites tell us, when our babies reach the size of an avocado or butternut squash but simply when we declare ourselves so.”

If you know the pain of pregnancy loss, my heart aches with yours. You are not alone. Please feel the freedom to connect with me.

To my community that continues to hold me, thank you. There are no words for the love that I have felt. I love you.

To my Luke, you are an amazing dad. You have carried me more than you know.  


//

[You can write to Danielle at daniellealyssak@gmail.com]

When We're All Finally Home

Author: John Lucas Kovasckitz

 

My wife and I have been back in the States for a little over a month, after seven months traveling overseas and a year and a half of not having a home address. In the past year, we’ve sold two vans (our little “home” before we left, and our even smaller home while in New Zealand), we’ve trekked through the Himalayas, we’ve braved a lot of wild roads on scooters, we’ve played with baby elephants in Thailand, we’ve snorkeled with manta rays in Bali, we’ve walked through the Notre-Dame and the Coliseum, and we’ve eaten the best pizza ever made at a little shop in Naples.

The past seven months were were new and romantic and tiring and sweaty and breathtaking and stressful and glorious and monotonous and I was homesick but also wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go back.

These days we’re figuring out how to be American citizens again...we bought a couch after three days of looking, we bought a car after two weeks of looking, and shopping alone I picked out an upright piano in about 30 minutes (although I’m sure that’s just a coincidence). Our books are unpacked and sorted, pictures are hung...but there’s a pesky frame that’s poorly made and I straighten it at least three times a day before giving up. We have a kitchen again, our own bed, car insurance, a recycling bin, and we’ve filed our late taxes. We’ve reconnected with people we love, hiked our favorite local spots, and gone back to our favorite restaurants.

Danielle signed up for classes while in India and has hit the ground running going back to school. I’ve been writing music and straightening that damn frame for the last time and I started working at a small woodshop a few days a week with my best friend. I’m honestly not super handy but I think I’m slowly learning. My first day on the job I nicked my hand with a power sander and last week I was lifting a table and completely threw out my back. Once I got home it took five minutes to get from the car to the living room floor where I struggled out of my dirty clothes and iced my back, and then I crawled up the stairs to have a small breakdown trying to reach the shampoo in the shower.

After a trip to the chiropractor, a lot of time on our three-day-search couch and a lot of ice, my back is still sore but it seems to be healing OK, and I just finished my first week in the shop without added injury. Mentally the past couple of weeks have been pretty difficult...I think I had grander ideas of what coming home would be like when I was gone. I’ve been restless; I thought that I would feel more purpose, a greater pull of creativity, maybe a greater sense of arrival. I guess I at least figured I would be able to reach the shampoo without issue.

I think I’ve been homesick coming home.

I know that sentence might not make much sense...but I’ve felt it. I think we all feel an ache we can’t quite explain, and a lot of us figure that maybe once we can travel the world or go home or retire or make our first million or meet our dream partner or have children the ache will go away once and for all. That last one on the list strikes true for me...on one of our flights I started crying at the ad (literally just a picture, mind you) in front of me showing a woman on a rollercoaster with her kids. I ache to be a father, but I know that my Deep ache will probably only multiply in the best way when the time comes.

To ache is to suffer, and I think true love requires the ache of suffering. I think we were all made to love, and thus (for a time) to ache and to suffer.

For those of you who quite vocally disagree with some of my beliefs, it will come as no surprise that I attended a week-long silent meditation retreat at a Buddhist center in Thailand. It was probably the most powerful spiritual experience of my life, and was shared with my wife and some of our best friends (Ben, Lydia, and Emily) and about thirty people from around the world.

For six days, we rose from our wooden “beds” at 4:30 each morning to a ringing bell (as an aside, the bell was a repurposed bomb left unused from the Vietnam War...and if that’s not the greatest story of redemption I’m not sure what is). During our stay, we locked up our phones, didn’t kill the mosquitos sucking our blood, observed strict silence, didn’t look in a mirror, skipped dinner, and practiced several sessions of walking, sitting, and standing meditations throughout the day. We got there a little late, so all of the cush contemplative chores like sweeping the meditation areas were already taken, so every afternoon Ben and I would strip to our shirts and underwear and silently scrub the men’s toilets together.

Before that week, I had never practiced sitting meditation in my life. I think growing up in the Christian church I’ve historically felt a bit of aversion to the practice, but now I think it’s really just prayer - perhaps in one of its truest forms. To meditate is to be Still...to empty oneself, to listen and observe - to be Aware.

It took several sessions to begin to learn how to physically sit still for an extended period of time, and to begin to train my mind to do the same. The second day, I pressed into my practice and was given a mystical experience - I felt the sensation of floating outside of my body and entered into a vision. For those of you that I’ve lost here, that’s OK...as Michael Scott would say, I’ll catch you on the flippity-flip.

Within this experience, I was in my body, aware of my breath, but also simultaneously outside of it. I rose to the tall treetops within a scene of alpine beauty: snow-capped rugged peaks, a clear blue lake, dark green trees. I felt an overwhelming peace and joy...an overwhelming Oneness. As I breathed I felt that I was breathing with the mountains, the trees. I was one with them and I understood them. I'm not sure how long I stayed in this state before coming fully back to my body, elated with the beauty and mystery of what I had experienced.

For those of you who quite vocally disagree with some of my beliefs, it will also come as no surprise that I have had a lot of difficulty over the last several years with Christianity, and whether or not I still have enough of its roots left to be covered by its branches. I think the easy thing to do sometimes is to cut and run when there’s conflict...as an Enneagram 9, I perhaps feel this more deeply than most. To stay with humility and tenderness despite differences and conflict is often a difficult arena. After my powerful spiritual experience within a Buddhist center, when I hadn’t experienced something at that level within the walls of a church, I thought for a bit that maybe it was my path to find God under a new tree.

Within Buddhism it is believed that the root of suffering is attachment - through the desire to have or to not have (craving or aversion). Buddhist monks are taught to picture a rotting corpse when thinking of sex, and if food is found to be especially delicious - creating attachments - you are taught to spit the mouthful into your hand, observe it, and then to swallow it again. Mmm boy.

Over the next couple of days, I tried not to create an attachment to again achieve an out of body experience, but nevertheless I suffered through the subsequent sessions. I was wiggly and couldn’t focus, slowly growing more and more frustrated. I struggled to wake up in the morning, and I struggled to go to sleep on the wooden bed at night without Danielle. I struggled with the mosquitoes. I struggled with the story of the Buddha...that to find enlightenment he had to leave his wife and child behind. I struggled with parts of Buddhist philosophy and especially the belief in reincarnation - what I believe to be an underlying excuse for tolerating and further turning the wheel of injustice. I think we learn the most through struggle...and over those several days I learned a lot about my marriage, my own selfishness, and I further solidified many of my beliefs.

I think I especially struggled with the idea of striving for non-attachment to avoid suffering. I believe that to avoid attachment is to avoid true love, and that to avoid love is the worst suffering of all. I want to love deeply...thus I want to fully take suffering head on, come what may. I want to enjoy sex with my wife without thinking of a rotting corpse, I want to enjoy good food without feeling the need to spit it into my hand, I want to father children and to call them my own, I want a comfortable bed unless I’m camping under the stars, and I want to kill a few mosquitoes every once in awhile.

I think God is the ache and God is the roots and God is the branches, and God can be found wherever we look because God is everywhere and in everything. Yet I think we all have our own stories, our own parents. As the days progressed, I learned more and more that I was no Buddhist; I was no monk. Despite the conflict and despite the differences and despite my unbelief, I believe Christianity to be my father, my mother...my roots, my story.

Particularly frustrated during a sitting meditation session, I looked around the room and to the banner at the front - one of the resolutions reading, that all people strive to realize the heart of their own religions. In that moment, I closed my eyes and prayed: Jesus, show me your heart. Immediately I was again lifted out of my body. No vision...just the same overwhelming feelings of peace and joy.

I think I’ve come to the peaceful realization that we’re all One, different parts of the Whole...and that God is within us all, but that Christians are my blood relatives. We share the crazy family reunions and the rituals and favorite stories that bind us together.

One of the most beautiful things about the week was that our teacher, a woman who gave up attending her own doctoral ceremony to be with our class, reminded me deeply of my Grandma K...one of my favorite people in the world. I didn’t catch my teacher’s name until the end of the week, so in my head she was my Buddhist Grandma K.

My Grandma K has Parkinson’s disease, and she trembles and shakes a lot these days. It was extremely special to learn how to sit still and to move and to walk with intention from someone who had her presence, her Spirit.

My Grandma has been one of my greatest teachers of love and of God, and how to fill a home with the joy of family. She lives in the little town of Hope Mills, and the Kovasckitz home on Main Street has been one of the great refuges of my life. However, these days even that home leaves me a little achy, a little homesick. My Grandpa isn’t there anymore in his den watching football, or playing Spider Solitaire on his computer being the grand gatekeeper of the sliding glass door. The pool feels smaller, the kitchen table underneath Grandma’s wind-up toys can’t fit as many of us these days. My cousins are all grown up, life is more complicated...and some of them have even had children of their own. This young generation has brought new life and perspective to meeting at my Grandma’s, but the ache still remains.

I think we’re all aching for God in our own ways. Wholeness. Togetherness. Peace. Family. I think we can get tastes on this earth, but it's never the full glass...there's always a piece or two missing.

I don’t exactly know what I believe about the afterlife anymore. I think like reincarnation within Buddhism, talks of heaven and hell and the afterlife within Christianity have allowed us to look past injustice as we meet it here and now.

But nobody knows for sure what happens after we die. Maybe we just fall asleep forever. Maybe we’re reincarnated. Maybe we’re all in a simulation and I’ve already died hundreds of times. I hope not. Personally, I believe in a loving Creator, and with the presence of temporary suffering I have to believe that it’s all leading somewhere, that somehow there is a purpose for it all. If there is an afterlife or a heaven, I believe that it will be a continuation...it will be familiar. It will be the earth as it should be, with pure peace and joy, because all of the reasons for those things to be absent will be gone. I believe that there will be an overwhelming sense of Oneness, wholeness, of family - because we will all be there, no matter what we said or did or believed before...for if we weren’t all there, it wouldn’t truly be complete. And I think we’ve all experienced enough hell on earth to know a good thing when we see it.

I don’t know if I saw and experienced a glimpse of the afterlife in my vision, but I wouldn’t mind if it was. I don’t know how we’ll reach life after death...if we go to another dimension immediately when we die or if we’ll all wake up together. If it’s all the same, I think I’d like to ride there through the night in the back of my family’s 1992 two-toned Chevrolet Suburban with burgundy interior. My dad will be driving because he knows the way, and my mom will have her headphones in and she’ll be singing. Danielle will fall asleep with her head in my lap soon after we start moving, and I’ll nod off and wake up just as we’re pulling into the driveway.

It will be Grandma’s white house, but instead of the pool in the back it’ll be right up against the alpine lake with a large garden to the side leading into the expansive forest. The house will already be full, but quiet, still, and asleep. Maybe Danielle and I will build a little neighboring cabin, but for now we enter. We’ll go in as quietly as we can, but the sliding glass door will make a noise and Mugsy will give a sleepy bark. We’ll steal upstairs to put our things away, and Grandma will be at the top of the stairs in her cotton nightgown. Her hair will still be white, but her eyes and limbs are young. My mom will tell her that we tried not to wake her, but she won’t answer - just smile and whisper, “hey, kids”. She’ll hug us and scratch our backs with fingers that don’t shake anymore. She’ll tell us that sugar cookies are in the jar, and we’ll silently eat cookies and drink milk, and my dad will eat a cold roast beef sandwich.

We’ll go make beds out of big pillows on the living room floor because all of the rooms are full, but we won’t mind. We’ll wake up late and pad our way out - Grandpa will be reading the paper with Mugsy in his lap, and Grandma will be watching the birds with Uncle John. She’ll have a cup of coffee in her hands, and outside the window Aunt Carol will be walking the garden with a cat or a chicken at her heels, and my dad will be pulling weeds. Steph will be outside running after Riven and Flapjack, and Grandma will giggle. When they see me come in, they’ll say, “morning, Luke”.

And that’s how I’ll know I’m finally home.

//

Six years old, but still holding true. I’ve gotten better at singin’ and recording and the boys have gotten better at videos, but I think this one is still special.

Both Poison and Fine Wine

Author: John Lucas Kovasckitz

Written from Jodhpur, India...an extension of “We Shall Overcome”.

 

The wheel of human suffering
begins and ends and starts again with ignorance;
and ignorance can be a choice,
for I know in my spirit that I have chosen not to see you.
I have spun the wheel with my eyes closed.

 

This land makes me uncomfortable to the core.
There are no good hiding spots -
for you or for me.
Here you have no modesty,
and I am not quick enough to avert my eyes.

 

I have seen your nakedness;
why did you expose yourself to me?

I have seen your hunger,
your thirst,
your sickness.
I have smelled the reek of your poverty -
your filthy hands have grasped mine,
refusing to release.

 

Is my life worth more than yours?
I know the answer to win applause,
but I know the true response of my heart.

For if this were not the case,
my conscience could no longer float in the sea of my guilt.

 

But you beg not for the paltry coins of my guilt,
for guilt requires only a meager sum for relief.

No, you seek a ransom -
the fortune of my awareness,
my presence,
my very being.

You ask for all that I have to give;
for awareness is the road to love,
and love requires The Path of Suffering.

I have seen without Seeing;
to be aware is to suffer.

 

I do not know if I can leave the comfort of my home behind.

 

This land makes my inheritance of perceived righteousness seem a curse.
I did not ask to be born into the false promised land,
on the winning side of this invisible border drawn in the dirt.

 

I have taken pride in my righteousness,
but is this blamelessness in the sight of others
merely the privilege of my unearned inheritance of violence?

Starvation has never required my hands to steal,
or to harm another in fear of someone also hungry or afraid.

 

Oh God, why must you have come as a beggar?
You have shown me my own nakedness,
my own violence,
my own hunger,
my own thirst.

I am a false king from a false kingdom.

 

Oh God, I am willing to see.
Spit on your filthy hands and rub the blindness from my eyes.
Kneel with me on the banks of the Ganges,
and we’ll sift for the gold left behind by those gone before -
small as babies when they’re thrown back to the water.

 

The river is murky with death,
but this is holy water -
both poison and fine wine:
the wine of brotherhood.

Dip my body in the waters before the pyre
burn the ignorance of my flesh.

 

For in this water I am you and you are me.

 

//

 

We Shall Overcome

Author: John Lucas Kovasckitz

Inspired by the words and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the work still left to be done - part of which is addressed in The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. 

 

We shall, we shall
we shall overcome -
my white brothers,
my white sisters. 

 

We shall overcome
the dark shadows of oppression
that we have cast -
at times with calculation,
at times without thought. 

 

Shadows
passed down like family heirlooms - 
we shall break the curse
and take up a new name,
a new mantle of righteousness. 

 

We shall overcome our power
that blinds us to the powerless.
We shall overcome our wealth
that starves and displaces the poor. 

 

We shall overcome
our apathy
our contempt
our fear
our comfort and self-preservation
through the path of destruction. 

 

We shall overcome our borders
until there are no outsiders.
We shall overcome our religions
until we see God.
We shall overcome our man-made structures
of law and order
that have ordered the laws
in our image - 
until our law is love,
and our gospel peace. 

 

Oh Lord, 
give us the courage
to open the prison doors
that have enslaved our brothers. 
Oh brother: 
I am the thief,
the swindler,
the criminal - 
and I have judged you wrongly from afar. 
Forgive me, brother, 
for I have sinned against you
and against God. 

 

Oh Lord, 
give us the moral fortitude
to wash the feet of the prostitute
with our own hair. 
Oh sister,
oh daughter of the King, 
no longer will you sell your body
to hollow power
for hollow bread. 
You will be honored,
you will be loved. 

 

Oh Lord,
give freedom to the captives,
bring justice to the oppressed - 
through our hands and our feet,
our blood and our tears.

 

Let us suffer with joy alongside those
who have suffered enough. 

 

Oh beautiful
Brothers,
Sisters,
this is my body,
broken for you. 

 

We shall overcome.
All of us.

 

For The Path of Suffering
leads to the Kingdom of God.