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Paul Laurence Dunbar

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It is a little dark still, but there are warnings of the day and somewhere out of the darkness a bird is singing to the Dawn.
--
Representative American Negroes, an essay from The Negro Problem, a collection of essays written in 1903 by leading African Americans.

 
Paul Laurence Dunbar

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For out of black
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There is an outmoded Burmese proverb still recited by men who wish to deny that women too can play a part in bringing necessary change and progress to their society: "The dawn rises only when the rooster crows." But Burmese people today are well aware of the scientific reasons behind the rising of dawn and the falling of dusk. And the intelligent rooster surely realizes that it is because dawn comes that it crows and not the other way round. It crows to welcome the light that has come to relieve the darkness of night. It is not the prerogative of men alone to bring light to this world: women with their capacity for compassion and self-sacrifice, their courage and perseverance, have done much to dissipate the darkness of intolerance and hate, suffering and despair.

 
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And they tried to rag me in the smoking room about not being able to hit a bird at five yards, a sort of bovine ragging that suggested cows buzzing round a gadfly and thinking they were teasing it. So I got up the next morning at early dawn I know it was dawn, because there were lark-noises in the sky, and the grass looked as if it had been left out all night.

 
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He bought a bird in its own cage, with a sheet over it so no one could see the bird and the bird couldn't see anyone, and the whole thing was a secret bird... Everything he said was tinged with the unreadability of someone who would bring a bird on cruise ship.

 
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