Colored Man

Enjoy this non-white response to racialization that exposes the absurdity of oppressive language. The poem is included in Eduardo Galeano’s latest book, Children of the Days.

Colored ManLeopold-Senghor

Beloved white brother:
When I was born, I was black.
When I grew up, I was black.
When I am in the sun, I am black.
When I fall ill, I am black.
When I die, I will be black.

And meanwhile you:
When you were born, you were pink.
When you grew up, you were white.
When you’re in the sun, you turn red.
When you feel cold, you turn blue.
When you feel fear, you turn green.
When you fall ill, you turn yellow.
When you die, you will be gray.
So, which of us is the colored man?

Leopold Senghor
poet of Senegal

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