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To the White Fiends

  1. Think ye I am not fiend and savage too?

  2. Think ye I could not arm me with a gun

  3. And shoot down ten of you for every one

  4. Of my black brothers murdered, burnt by you?

  5. Be not deceived, for every deed ye do

  6. I could match—out-match: am I not Afric's son,

  7. Black of that black land where black deeds are done?

  8. But the Almighty from the darkness drew

  9. My soul and said: Even thou shalt be a light

  10. Awhile to burn on the benighted earth,

  11. Thy dusky face I set among the white

  12. For thee to prove thyself of highest worth;

  13. Before the world is swallowed up in night,

  14. To show thy little lamp; go forth, go forth!


Harlem Shadows (1922)

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