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"O, Black and Unknown Bards of long ago,

How came your lips to touch the sacred fire?

How in your darkness, did you come to know

The power and beauty of the minstrel's lyre?

Who first from midst his bonds lifted his eyes?

Who first from out the still watch, lone and long,

Feeling the ancient faith of prophets rise

Within his dark kept soul, burst into song?"

- James Weldon Johnson

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