OKLAHOMA CITY, 1995
Pandemonium echoes through the heartland
We ponder the senselessness of the perpetrators
And the helplessness of the victims
Hate, the pseudonym for terror strikes
Division replaces cohesion
Anger and hate fills us all.
MANDELA! I HEAR THE FOOTSTEPS OF FREEDOM
What is the color of my eyes?
What is the color of my shirt…your dress…his uniform?
What is the color of my soul?
Why do you concentrate on only one color
On the one aspect of my being
That I can do nothing about?
Colored bathrooms, colored bus
Colored restaurants, colored this, colored that…
Tomorrow, I shall lend you my shoes
Promise that you will walk with me,
Eat with me, dance with me, sing with me,
And sleep in my shack
Promise that you will make me coffee
And hot chocolate
That you will wake my children up
And take them to the bus stop
Then ride a bus reserved for you
When you hear the sirens, do not run
Face the music and the anguish of the voiceless
When I hear your cry
I will open the door
I will do it because I harbor no evil
I have two cheeks
And I bear no grudge
I will certainly remember my painful past
But I have the courage to look into the future
What is the price of ignorance?
Pain, anger, hatred and prejudice
What is the cost of tolerance?
Have you walked far enough?
How do you like my shoes?
There are no people of color
We are all colored
John Anagbo is a Supervisor/Teacher of English at Montgomery High School
in Skillman, NJ. He also works as a Content Instruction Specialist in
English for the Program in Teacher Preparation at Princeton University.