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The African-American Living History Museum

Rich Fletcher--The Tech

By Laini Kimada Byfield '98

I painted my skin as dark as night

When I was very young.

I could race Twilight, kiss the stars

And sneak up on the Sun.

Then stolen and in another land,

Their skin was white as white.

They painted not, nor kissed the stars

And stared at my color of Night.

I grew with them and learned their ways

And put my paints away.

I learned their past, and forgot mine own.

My skin was fading grey.

My sister Night denied me,

For I forgot her face.

Twilight wept with sadness,

For no longer did we race.

No longer did I reach for stars,

Or dance, or sing, or run.

No longer could I hide with Night,

And I did not know the Sun.

I had changed in the other place,

Of plain uncolored men.

And before I fade canvas white,

I pick up my paints again.