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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)

TITLE: The "Blacks Only" Sign
By Melanie Kerr
12/09/10


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I see the sign
“Blacks Only”
But it doesn’t apply to me
My skin
It more than black
In a certain light
It’s almost blue
The palms of my hand
And the soles of my feet
Are not black

My eyes aren’t black
But brown
A warm chocolate brown
The white around my eyes
Isn’t black
A touch yellow perhaps
Red sometimes
When I have slept badly

My tongue isn’t black
But thick and pink
My teeth aren’t black
Nor white either
The pay packet doesn’t stretch
To visits to the dentist
And I object to
The carefully labelled door
That leads to the staircase
No carpet
The back entrance

My blood isn’t black
I’ve seen too much of it
Needlessly shed
Staining the grass
By the side of the road
After a violent encounter
The blood doesn’t tell
The colour of a man’s skin
Only that he is hurt

My heart isn’t black
I am not guilty of the crimes
Real or imagined
I am said to commit
I do not have a
Natural inclination
To violence
Before my Saviour I stand
With a clean heart
Not black

My thoughts…
These I confess
Sometimes to be black
Made in His image
I am treated as something less
Dust
Dirt
Dung
By signs that say
“Blacks Only”


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This article has been read 796 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Caitlyn Meissner12/10/10
Very well written, and a compelling portrait of what so many of God's children went through. Thank you.
Leola Ogle 12/12/10
Speechless! Thank you for sharing! Well written...should be read by all! Loved it, tugged at my heart on so many levels. God bless...keep sharing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/13/10
Wow! You made that so real for me. I can't even begin to describe the emotions and thoughts that your words brought out in me. I can say Wow again though for that describes it best.
Sara Harricharan 12/14/10
Hmm. So much emotion in this piece and it's too real sometimes, for what some folks endure because of something like skin color. I really enjoyed this--thanks for sharing!
Joanne Sher 12/14/10
Powerful and evocative. Great stuff, Mel.
Gregory Kane12/14/10
Excellent. Vividly captures the injustice of segregation.
I was reminded of those beautiful words from Song of Songs: "Dark am I, yet lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem" God loves his people whatever tone or hue they may be.
Lollie Hofer 12/14/10
I want to say "Ditto" to what everyone else has said. I concur with all their glowing accolades. This is beautiful, emotional, powerful. Well done, indeed.
Catrina Bradley 12/14/10
Compelling and thought inducing. Excellent from beginning to the wonderful conclusion.
Edmond Ng 12/15/10
Sad truths, giving a tug at the heartstrings. Social inequity is always a problem, and we as Christians ought to pray and remember the gospel is to reach everyone—for we are all created in the image of God.
Connie Dixon12/15/10
Love the format and the message of this piece. You gave your read much to think about. Good job.
Lillian Rhoades 12/16/10
A big CONGRATS on your EC win.
This was not a "still birth." :-) So much truth clothed in creative dress.

Loved it!
Rachel Phelps12/16/10
Masterful. Excellent. Congratulations on your EC!
Margaret Kearley 12/16/10
Excellent and very moving. Many congratulaions on your well deserved win.
Noel Mitaxa 12/16/10
Excellent, thought-provoking and powerful in its simplicity. A well-desreved win.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/16/10
Congratulations on #1 for this outstanding poem. So true--so wonderfully expressed.
Pamela Lake12/16/10
This is beautiful, and poignant - well done. This completely held me to the end. Congrats too on your placement:o)
Beth LaBuff 12/17/10
Simply excellent! Congratulations on your Editor's Choice award, Melanie!
Patricia Turner12/21/10
Once again you excel! Congratulations on your well deserved EC for this fine, emotional, and thought provoking piece.