Charisse Song

Charisse ShumateThe women’s music group Samsara is re-writing Joan Baez’s song “Prison Song Trilogy”. This first verse is about Charisse Shumate who died at CCWF in August 2001.
Charisse was a woman warrior,
a mother and a prisoner
Her smile kept those cold gray walls
from making us surrender
A battered woman, she did resist,
a lovers’ cruel abusive fist
Picked up the gun
feeling no other way out.
Her story echoed the others inside
She found them fighting to survive
Through neglect those prisons doctors
let so many sisters die
With her body weak she took them on
In the courts, the victory road was long,
still we wait
for justice to be done.
As she lay shackled to her cell bed
Two prison guards heard her last sigh,
Those warm august winds they took her
A spirit free at last to fly
come and lay, help us lay, her body down.