Today is our public celebration of the January 15 birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968) who was both preacher and poet in the "I have a dream" speech he delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.
Dr King's speech began with:
Five score years ago, a great American,
in whose symbolic shadow we stand
signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
This momentous decree came as a
great beacon light of hope
to millions of Negro slaves who had been
seared in the flames of withering injustice.
It came as a joyous daybreak
to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must
face the tragic fact that the Negro
is still not free.
The lines above were first posted at this link (in January, 2011). And here is a link to a poem by outstanding African-American poet June Jordan; that same post also contains links to poems that commemorate black history.