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Black Baby


The baby I hold in my arms is a black baby.
    Today I set him in the sun and
    Sunbeams danced on his head,
The baby I hold in my arms is a black baby.
    I toil, and I cannot always cuddle him.
    I place him on the ground at my feet.
    He presses the warm earth with his hands,
    He lifts the sand and laughs to see
    It flow through his chubby fingers.
    I watch to discern which are his hands,
    Which is the sand...
Lo... the rich loam is black like his hands.


The baby I hold in my arms is a black baby.
    Today the coal-man brought me coal.
    Sixteen dollars a ton is the price I pay for coal.
    Costly fuel... though they say:---
    Men must sweat and toil to dig it from the ground.
    Costly fuel... 'Tis said:---
    If it is buried deep enough and lies hidden long enough
    'Twill be no longer coal but diamonds.
    My black baby looks at me.
    His eyes are like coal,
    They shine like diamonds.

Written by Anita Scott Coleman (1890-1960)

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