by Robert Francis Kennedy (1925 - 1968)

History has placed us all
Language: English 
History has placed us all, black and white, within a common border 
and under a common law. All of us from the wealthiest and most 
powerful men to the weakest and hungriest of children 
share one precious possession, the name American. It is not easy 
to know what that means, but in part to be an American means 
to have been an outcast and a stranger, to have come to the 
exiles' country, and to know that he who denies the outcast 
and the stranger among us at that moment also denies America. 

This is a great nation and a strong people. Any who seek to 
comfort rather than speak plainly, reassure rather than instruct, 
promise satisfaction rather than reveal frustration: 
They deny that greatness and drain that strength. 

For today as it was in the beginning it is the truth, it is 
the truth that makes us free.

This is a prose text. The line breaks above are arbitrary.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-09-08
Line count: 14
Word count: 149