The dramatic odyssey opens with two anonymous slaves running to catch the Freedom Train, where at journey's end they hope to find liberation. Along the way, they encounter fields of laborers sowing seeds, plodding hard under sun high and moon low, working to end slavery. The toilers are sustained by work songs that at one moment express the dreams and fears of the downtrodden and at another moment burst forth with unbound faith and optimism.
These determined travelers, with dangerous crows circling around them, roam through fields holding their dead; step over graves of the once enslaved; walk across beds of red, white, and blue flowers, all for the opportunity to march on the green lawns of democracy. Throughout their entangled journey, they meet imaginary and mythological characters. But it is down by the riverside where their belief that a time of change will come is affirmed by engagements with "giants" such as Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday, Hank Aaron, Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks.
The Children of Children Keep Coming is strung seamlessly together -- by poetry and prose, blues and gospel, hymns and jazz, work songs and prayers -- forcing the universal harmony of the cry for freedom and justice to reach an unforgettable pitch that cannot be ignored.
This astounding mosaic of voices is accentuated by the images of Romare Bearden.
Finally there's the epic poem The Children of Children Keep Coming: An Epic GriotSong from onetime pro football player, Harlem gallery owner and financial backer of Essence magazine Russell Goings. Goings' piece offers praise, optimism tempered by an understanding of past horrors and upcoming challenges, and the upbeat, rousing vocabulary that's helped instill in generations not only of black Americans, but oppressed people around the world, the self-esteem and pride necessary to persevere no matter the circumstances.