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    For good and valuable consideration, receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, You hereby grant to THIRTEEN Productions LLC ("THIRTEEN") the irrevocable right to incorporate your submission (the "Work"), in whole or in part, into The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross including companion materials and ancillary platforms (collectively, the "Project"). THIRTEEN may use and license others to use any version of the Project and excerpts and outtakes therefrom in all manner and media, now known or hereafter devised, worldwide without limitation as to time. The foregoing rights shall include the right to use the Work and details or excerpts therefrom for Project packaging and for outreach, Project and institutional promotion, and publicity purposes.

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Cheryl Townsend Gilkes

I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts in a multi-ethnic community–my friends actually spoke to their parents and grandparents in Greek and Italian. Sitting around in our playground when we were nine or ten years old, the conversation was about “What are you?” (I now know thanks to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel that the correct question is “WHO are you?”) After listening to “I’m Irish; I’m Italian; I’m Greek; I’m Polish”–I went home and asked my Dad. Bless his Morehouse graduated heart, in the 1950s he took out a World Atlas, pointed to the West Coast of the continent of Africa and said, “We come from somewhere along in here.” We had an ancestor who lost a war and ended up being sold into slavery. When Daddy got through telling the story, however, I was convinced that I was hidden royalty. That belief sustained me in the face of some serious abuse and racial harassment in high school. I’ve learned a lot of history and culture since then but Daddy’s story telling helped me hold my head up and hope.