I saw your photo.
You were sitting in a police car;
you were going to jail.
You were strange
because you were not crying
when I saw you.
Just eating in a white
restaurant, that should not
have been big trouble.
You were fighting for your rights,
your rights as a citizen of these United States.
I know your dream is peace,
is calm,
is equality.
Maybe your children
wait for you at home;
maybe your sister needs
help with the cooking;
maybe your dear husband
wants to give you a birthday surprise.
But everything was broken
by the foolish rule about skin color.
Now, because of your courage,
your dream has come true.
Our dream has come true.
Everyone is equal in this free country,
whatever their skin color.
And we even have
an African American president
in our great country.
Congratulations, madam,
you helped to make our history.
You are successful beyond your dream.

by Tianli, 10th grade

Published in the 2011 The Watchful Eye Anthology, inspired by Civil Rights-Era Photographs at the Menil Collection

Students Writing at the Menil

Students Writing at the Menil

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