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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ode to the "Young, Gifted and Black"

Note to the University of Wisconsin - Madison

Troubled by the prominent racism on his campus, a UW-Madison student spreads his voice in poem around campus. He directs his attention to the institution in which he studies and calls forth the attention of his fellow students of color. 


“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” (Fannie Lou Hamer).

Womyn. Womxn. Girl. Magic.
Men. Man. Boy. Joy.

These things is what I tell my skin before I dab in its darkness. I wish I could keep my head up, which is why I dance to stay woke. Then I see a repugnant “fan" wear me for a costume, and I sleep. REASON: I love to dream like any King or Queen would.

Every-Body knows, “no person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow” (Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose). I feel like the ------ who's barking as a stump upon Bascom Hill. In spite of the hurt, I doubt Lincoln or the building hears me. When I fell each time, how I made a sound and wound up ignored.

My freedom of expression has never fully bloomed in a garden of precious white roses. Always, we’ve been the bleeding ones, the withered who rose strong from the concrete.

My freedom of speech is based on a narrative. And a Godly one at that.

“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it” (Zora Neale Hurston, folklorist, anthropologist, so on).

If you’re silent about your pain, a chancellor or head of state might say it’s justifiable simply because their version of the law might say so.

The 1st time I set foot on school grounds, I knew my black behind was a threat. I was gonna be treated like one.

I accepted and was forever amended to that.

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Shall we be the quill body who can change the scripture? Do they know, the ink is slowly stirring,

and the feather tops have been ruffled?

CALLING ALL STUDENTS OF COLOR: (We as Badgers must stay persistent.)

I’m tired of being on four legs, four legs being a tired way, for anyone to climb a hill. Let us fly -- or claw -- above that.

Sincerely, a concerned student at UW-Madison.

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