It’s a fact: black people in this country die more easily, at all ages, across genders. Look at how young black men die, and how middle-aged black men drop dead, and how black women are ravaged by HIV/AIDS. The numbers graft to poverty but they also graph to stresses known and invisible. How did we come here, after all? Not with upturned chins and bright eyes but rather in chains, across a chasm. But what did we do? We built a nation, and we built its art.
― Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World