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James Ransome
It was tempting to select a poem that illustrated an area in Syracuse. But since I'm new to the area, I thought it might be hard to find the spot, and I probably wouldn't have the connection to it that people who live in the area would have.

I wanted illustrate something emotional. So I thought it would be best if I found a poem that symbolized African Americans' struggles, or women's struggles, or some group's struggles. That's what got my attention, this idea of struggling and succeeding against the odds.

The writer of this poem is actually Native American. At first I felt, I hope this illustration doesn't hurt her feelings. But then I thought, Almost any group can associate with this poem; it's not just a Native American issue. That's why I felt it was OK.

Like the red lotus
I bloom from mud. A symbol
for struggle; new life

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