"In both cases, there is a moment of freedom and a moment of confrontation with fear set deep inside of me, and as fear didn't leave me during the riots, it was also present in me when I was writing and presenting the sketches. We have acted in both cases and it was a joy doing it. Sometimes we would stop acting and we would joke while imagining that we have been hanged by the arms together with our puppets". He also explains why he left Syria before his work was broadcast on the Internet: "After all I am just an ordinary man and I don't want to be a hero."
In addition to Brooks and Walker, Robert Hayden and Melvin Tolson provide glimpses of protest in their poetry of the 1940s through the 1960s. Hayden’s signature poem, “ Middle Passage ,” looks backward in its protest to the point of African enslavement in the New World. In a beautifully crafted poem of multiple voices, Hayden explores what the transportation of black bodies meant to the transporters as well as to those enslaved. For the captives, the Middle Passage was a “Voyage through death/ to life upon these shores,” though the quality of that life is dramatically diminished. In Harlem Gallery (1965), Tolson paints a panorama of Harlem and its elusive “Negro” inhabitants: “The Negro is a dish in the white man’s kitchen/ . . . a dish nobody knows.” 16