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Fuming over Hume

"A devoted Virginian who served his native state in Civil War and Legislative Hall." These words stand eternally etched on the Frank Hume Memorial, the marble memorial fountain located in between the Commerce School and Brown College. Late last week a mysterious poem was hung on the edges of the Hume Memorial, leaving many students to wonder about the work's significance.

The poem was signed by "le noir perdu," meaning "the lost black" in French. The poem contains obvious social and political overtones. It begins by inviting the reader to "step in and drink from this pool of dry tears / and measure the volume of me who drowns in fear. / stand here and read the engraving of enslavement / that was chiseled to belittle supposed emancipation."

Student opinion varies regarding the meaning of the poem and who wrote the work.

"It's obviously written by some enraged black student," fourth-year College student Gozie Adibe said. "It's very complex. The words they use are very sophisticated. I'm not even sure what sparked it."

Others felt that Black History month may have prompted the poem's posting, citing the poem's references to emancipation and enslavement.

Third-year College student Brennan Mann sees the literary work in a different light.

"It's not a poem; it's a rap," Mann said. "I can hear the rhythm in my head."

The poem has remained posted on the memorial for the past week, giving students a chance to wonder about the meaning.

Busting out

Robert F. Kennedy, former Attorney General and senator, is about to make an appearance at the Law School. Tomorrow, following a ceremony in Caplin Pavillion, a bust of Kennedy will become a permanent fixture at the school.

The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights has donated the bust of Kennedy, who was a Class of 1951 Law School alumnus. As the organization's name would suggest, the bust is meant to serve as a reminder of Kennedy's commitment to public service.

Second-year Law student Ryan Coonerty, organized the dedication of the bust. Coonerty sees the bust as a necessary addition to the Law School.

"I came to the Law School because Kennedy came here ... and when I got here there was no sign that Kennedy had ever been a student here," Coonerty said.

Ethel Kennedy, widow of the late politician, chose an inscription to accompany the memorial. A quote from Kennedy's 1966 graduation address to the students at the University of Capetown in South Africa will be etched beneath the sculpture. Kennedy's words outline his interest in civil rights legislation.

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope...which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance," the quotation reads.

"The quote represents the ability of one person to make a difference, and that's really the core of public service," Coonerty said.

Compiled by Stephanie Batten