And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not (more…)
I expect to pass through this world but once;
any good thing therefore that I can do, or any
kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature,
When I born, I black.
When I grow up, I black.
When I go in sun, I black.
When I scared, I black.
When I sick, I black.
And when I die, I still black.
And you white people.
When you born, you pink.
When you grow up, you white.
When you go in sun, you red.
When you cold, you blue.
When you scared, you yellow.
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you grey…
And you calling me colored??
Variously attributed to Josh White, “an African child”, Malcolm X, the Oglala Lakota, and an anonymous pupil of King Edward VI School, Birmingham, UK; but most likely one of various renditions into English from the French of a poem by Senegalese poet and first president of Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001).