Our third grade class filed under the concrete breezeways that loosely connected the classrooms of Coral Reef Elementary, past the Seagrape tree at the end of the open courtyard, and into the big cafeteria. It was the only space large enough to hold all the energy of so many kids, cooled only by tall jalousie windows that caught the breezes off Biscayne Bay. The air inside was heavy and anxious, and just like nearly everything in Florida it could be oppressive if you let it get to you. But we kids just took it in and made it exciting. This was our music class, the time when we could bubble our energy in a new song taught to us on the tired piano by Mr. Michaels.
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;