“Joyce was a lovely girl with a beautiful spirit. I love this poem she wrote in the Creative Writing class not long before she left for Guyana with many other Opportunity II students.
How do you get from
the ghetto to the sparrow
How in the corner of a ghetto
a sparrow grows lips, and
remembers how to sing
This one by Joyce is modeled after a poem by Joyce Carol Thomas. Both poems were published in the Opportunity poetry anthology, "In Small Dreams," on file at the California Historical Society.
Paint me with my head up looking proud
Paint me with a big happy smile onmy face.
Paint me with beautiful colored beads,
With my hair corn-rolled in an African style.
Paint me with the animals of the jungle,
Llike a colorful bird and a brown soft
Monkey jumping tree totree.
Paint me with all the nationalities of people.
Paint me with a gorgeous colored dress...
Paint me beautiful.
PAINT ME. PAINT ME. PAINT ME.
” - Judy Bebelaar
“I'm a Forty Five year old African-American male. Originallty from San Francisco. But I was an eight year old Lad the last time I saw Joyce Polk. She attended the same school as my oldest sister. Joyce would Call me "Cowboy". Because I liked dressing up as one. I remember her as a Nice , Friendly, Teenage girl. With a Soothing voice. And Presence. Like mostly everybody else. Joyce was just looking for a better way of life. She definitely thought she found it with Jim Jones and Peoples Temple.
” - Jeffrey Johnson