We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!

 

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From James Weldon Johnson’s We wear the mask. Reader can know the condition at that time period. Africa-Americans lived really hard. If they want to talk or do something with white people, they have to were a mask so white will treat them little bit better. If they do not wear the mask white people will still treat them really bad. Only when they are facing Africa-American they can take off the mask. That is the real of Africa-American, but they have to wear the mask for life.

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