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.

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