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Protective Styles

Protective Styles


A modern take on the poem "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar amidst the 2020 pandemic and black lives matter movement. This painting illustrates the emotions of the trauma of our past and needs for survival.


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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