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God made the little niggers He made them in the night He made them in a hurry And forgot to paint them white. Everyday the golden haired, angel-faced, happy white children sang this song. Amid chortling laughter and swirls of curls they filed past the wire fence that captured us. They keep us locked away like dark secrets. Never hearing our cries, never seeing our misery, never feeling our hunger while the bones of Mother and Grandmother remember when this whole country was one big kitchen where the pantry was never empty…
This is an excerpt from Jeanine's poem. It is published in her first book of poems which tells stories of the experience of Aboriginal women—traditional and contemporary—before and after European colonisation.