come, train, to newark in seventy-six

by E. Alma Flagg

Image: Donald Lokuta via Newark Public Library
Image: Donald Lokuta via Newark Public Library

Come, Freedom Train, to Newark and we shall be
Impressed by you and seeking to impress,
For in our city, aged three hundred ten,
There runs the thread of all our nation’s past;
Not only do we view the past with pride
In heroes, workers, folk of every hue;
We look our present squarely in the eye
And seeing flaws which mar the life we seek,
We purpose to remove from in our midst
The blight of hate, the scourge of poverty,
The evils of injustice, ignorance,
The miseries of disease and pestilence.
We would install in Newark and all around
The lights of hope and love and brotherhood,
The ways of peace and work and joint concern—
For then, indeed, the Revolution lives,
And Life and Liberty will be our own,
And Happiness find us in close pursuit.
Let’s make the ideals real—come, Freedom Train!

The American Freedom Train, part of the U.S. Bicentennial festivities, rolled into Newark on August 21, 1976. Alma Flagg’s invocation was included in a volume of conference papers entitled Newark 1967-1977, edited by Stanley Winters.

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