Claude McKay: Enslaved
Oh when I think of my long-suffering race,
For weary centuries, despised, oppressed
Enslaved and lynched, denied a human place
In the great life line of the Christian West;
And in the Black Land disinherited,
Robbed in the ancient country of its birth,
My heart grows sick with hate, becomes as lead,
For this is my race that has no place on earth.
Then from the dark depth of my soul I cry
To the avenging angel to consume
The white man’s world of wonders utterly:
Let it be swallowed up in earth’s vast womb,
Or upward roll as sacrificial smoke
To liberate my people from its yoke!
From The Black Poets (Affiliate Link) compiled by Dudley Randall.