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From Obinna Adibe From Obinna Adibe At 4 a.m. last Friday, I had finally finished preparing a presentation for class a few hours later. I could feel the effects of the coffee wearing off and sleep overpowering my quest for consciousness, yet my mind began to reflect on my three-and-a-half years at this fine institution, the University of Pennsylvania. That boy is older now, and he knows a little more. He remembers it was cold that night in front of DuBois College House. October 11, 1993 -- freshman year. "A fire drill this late?" he thought. "But I have Spanish in several hours. Naw, a bomb? Is this the nigger dorm? The nigger dorm?" I went outside that morning in my pajamas. It was cold and Mommy was scrubbing the word NIGGER off the house wall. I stared at the word until Mommy yelled at me, told me to go inside because it was cold. He screamed inside, that cold night -- what a loud scream, so loud it worked its way outside. "I'll kill you! I'll kill you!!" He closed his eyes and saw his hands strangling a melanin-deficient, blood-gorged neck and bulging blue eyes. The he opened his eyes and walked toward the Quad. "He's there, I know he's there!" he thought. "No! Don't you see they want you to be angry? Don't let them have that power over you?" said a black man, a friend. "You're here to get your degree, don't let them stop you. That's what they want to do, that's what they want to do?" "But it's so hard, man!" he said. "Why does it still happen? Why?" The morning after that cold night outside, he woke up and went to class. On time. u His friend's words came back to him a few months later, on the way to a party. White boys started pissing on the house. He got so mad he yelled at them and approached them. They walked away. It was cold again that night and his hands, they were balled up into a fist. "They were pissing on the house," he thought. "My house?" Mommy was scrubbing the wall again. This time, it was dried-up eggs. It was cold, and they were stuck on the wall. I guess Mommy couldn't get out the NIGGER they wrote again, but this time on the concrete patio, 'cause it been there since Monday. Maybe she was tired. Mommy gets tired sometimes. "I am 21," I thought, "and I am tired." I popped KRS-ONE into my CD player and played that first track over and over again: "We will be here forever! Do you understand? Forever!"

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