A NOT OK Society

I learned about race in my high school cafeteria.
Whites sat on one side,
Blacks on the other.
It was a house
We were smart kids enrolled in advanced courses,
But we didn’t know how to eat together.
Of course there were exceptions,
And we had friends of different races.
At the end of the day,
I wish I could say
This was in 1950.
But it was in 2005.
Can we talk of progress when we still sit at separate tables?
I wish I could go back in time,
And push all the cafeteria tables into
One table united.
Until the day comes when we can all sit down together,
We must stand up
And refuse to say,
“Everything is OK.

~ by Carolyn Tillo

One of the poems that won the Nicholas Kristof’s poetry contest on race issues.

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