Investigation of Communist Propaganda

The following poems taken from Claude McKay's Harlem Shadows, reflect the spirit of resentment and militancy which characterizes the new negro in America. McKay, a native of Jamaica, came to the United States in 1912, where he pursued a checkered career. He was a student at Kansas State University of two years, but his restless spirit drove him int othe field of journalism. He was at one time associated with the Liberator and the Masses, before visiting the Soviet Union in 1921. Since then McKay has resided in Europe.

IF WE MUST DIE If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making thier mock at our accursed lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack. Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back! [source] THE TIRED WORKER O whisper, O my soul! The afternoon Is waning into evening, whisper soft! Peace, O my rebel heart, for soon the moon From out its misty veil will swing aloft! Be patient, weary body, soon the night Will wrap thee gently in her sable sheet, And with a leaden sigh thou wilt invite To rest thy tired hands and aching feet. The wretched day was theirs, the night is mine; Come, tender sleep, and fold me to thy breast. But what steals out the gray clouds red like wine? O dawn! O dreaded dawn! O let me rest— Weary my veins, my brain, my life! Have pity! No! Once again the harsh, the ugly city. [source]


Investigation of Communist Propaganda Hearings Before a Special Committee to Invesitgate Communist Activities in the United States (1930).


Text available from ProQuest.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

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