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400 years a slave – t.o lyrics

[verse 1: t.o]
i was stolen from my home
traded like an object
i was all alone
i had no chance to object
i was sold and bought
they stole my name
my culture wasn’t taught
all i felt was shame
i just wanted to be free
that couldn’t be reality
until abraham lincoln arrived
and made that change in 1865

[interlude: martin luther king, jr.]
100 years later, the negro is still not free

[verse 2: t.o]
free at last, free at last
thank god, almighty
we’re free at last
but our oppression ain’t in the past
they needed slaves so i was cast
a violent criminal with no soul
enslaving me was their goal
redlined, denied
housing in town
if you go for groceries
better leave before sundown
get back to your ghetto
at 25 in the meadow
they put me in the grave
because they needed a slave

[verse 3: t.o]
i’m no longer anyone’s possession, but i
get pulled over and arrested for possession
i’m free but more constrained than before
stuck in the middle of this everlasting war
a war based on apartheid and discrimination
my colour brought me to the police station
where they killed me
death by asphyxiation
then they lied
told everyone it was suicide

[verse 4: t.o]
i was walking down the street
you know how history repeats
they pulled me over
hit me with the car door
shot me once
then shot me five times more
said that i charged
but that’s not the truth
all the witnesses know i was yelling
“hands up don’t shoot”

- all song lyrics by t o