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Thursday, June 22, 2006 04:27 am

America is a rainbow

Local students promote racial unity and understanding through art and poetry

Katy Crenshaw, of Eureka Middle School, with her “best of show” entry in the annual “Vision of Race Unity” contest
Everyone is part of “our beautiful rainbow,” says Christelle Miller, who recently completed the fourth grade at Little Flower School. “What matters” is inside, says Alex Rahn, who just finished the fifth grade at St. Agnes School. “Fighting gets nothing accomplished,” says Aziza McNeese, who just completed the seventh grade at Lincoln Magnet School. We are like keys of a piano — “each note has its own sound,” says Curtis Penfold, who finished the ninth-grade at Divernon High School. Respect for diversity was the theme of this year’s “Vision of Race Unity” poetry and art contests, sponsored by the organizers of the Race Unity Rally, held June 4 at the Capitol. Christelle’s, Alex’s, Aziza’s and Curtis’ poems won first place in their age categories; Katy Crenshaw, who completed the eighth grade at Eureka Middle School, won best of show. The rally, an annual event, was co-sponsored by Illinois Times, Frontiers International Club of Springfield, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the Greater Springfield Baha’i community. The winning art entries and the first- and second-place poems are published here. To see the rest of the winning entries, go to www.springfieldbahai.org.
RAINBOW By Christelle Miller Fourth grade, Little Flower School
To me, race is a rainbow. Everyone has their own color. Each color makes the rainbow beautiful. America is a rainbow of different races. Blacks, whites, Indians, Hispanics, Asians . . . make the rainbow radiant. We are all united in some way. So if you are about to judge someone because of their color, Remember that they are part of our beautiful rainbow.
By Alex Rahn Fifth grade, St. Agnes School
We live in unity Every single race Is the human community No matter what color face We can all live as one And still have fun If we do not, How would our lives run? That is the plot We need to stick together Forever And ever. And we can never Think we are better Than others. We are equal sisters and brothers. What matters is the inside Not the color Of the outside. People have died Because of race hate. We can’t change that because it’s too late. But how Can we make a difference now? By loving everyone on earth Because we have been given love since birth. Love is worth much more Than winning a war. Because of races Or similar cases, We could have been nothing But God made us something. He made us all equal in his eyes. If people tell you otherwise Then those are lies. We are all equal and the same size To God, our Father, our Creator. We can’t wait until later To make a change Because peace is within our range.

By Aziza McNeese Seventh Grade, Lincoln Magnet School  
“United we stand, divided we fall” — Aesop Ha! You’ve got that right. Our country is slowly falling into a state of jealousy and envy.  
But hey, “We’re Just Ordinary People” — John Legend Yeah, we all say that, but without back up. We were all brought up to treat others the way you want to be treated. But all that kind of drifted away with all our other important qualities.  
“Love, so many people use your name in vain . . . ”
— Musiq Soulchild Now ain’t that the truth, But why do we use war instead of love to solve our problems?  
You see, “War is not the answer . . . for only love can
conquer hate.”
— Marvin Gaye People fight over little things like,  gas money  parking spots and  babies’ daddies, but fighting gets nothing accomplished.  
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in unity.” — Colossians 3:14  
But is this truly what we believe?
By Curtis Penfold Ninth grade, Divernon High School  
The Master plays  His song, Everybody listens to the music, Nobody tells him to segregate  the keys on the piano.  
They’re all played together, making independently beautiful chords  with progressive rhythms, Each note has its own place in his masterpiece.  
Like the keys of a piano  are we, Each note has its own sound as each person has their own spirit.  
Don’t deny any soul the privilege of expression, Everyone must be allowed to be hear  so life can play its masterpiece.
By Clayton Taylor Third grade, St. Agnes School  
I see blacks and whites fighting. It makes me sad. I wish I could stop this fighting. One time I was playing basketball and I fell and a black boy came running by. He asked if I was OK. I said, in my head, He isn’t mean or scary. He is nice. Maybe where his house is, is scary. But it doesn’t mean he is.” I thought they were until then. God made us equal. He doesn’t see us black or white, red or yellow. We shouldn’t either.

By Diantha Harper 10th grade, Auburn High School  
When you think of racial unity, what do you see? I see people helping others understand
    they’re just like you and me.
But sadly, not everyone agrees with this racial communication. You can find them anywhere, in any place of the nation. But looking past those people, I seem to always see, So many different faces as they smile back at me. When I think of racial unity and the power that it holds, I am no longer afraid to stand out and to be bold. I think of unity and see many people, their color undefined, No one is excluded and no one is left behind. Everyone just talked and laughed, until we did proclaim That no one is different and all will be treated the same. There will be no more racist comments and
    jokes to listen to and hear
For some people, this hopefully helps resolve their fear. But unity is needed for people fighting      amongst their own races. It is needed for those who are less lucky and      living in unfortunate places. Different gangs are feuding for things that      can be fixed without a fight, Making a family and their neighbors worry for half the night. They sit and wait for the call saying their child is gone All because he simply rubbed somebody wrong. I hope that my dream will one day come true And people will see that the races are      no different than me or you. But for now I can only hope and wait And pray to God that it’s not too late.
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