Verse > Anthologies > James Weldon Johnson, ed. > The Book of American Negro Poetry
See also: Claude McKay Biography
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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938).  The Book of American Negro Poetry.  1922.
 
To the White Fiends
 
Claude McKay (1890–1948)
 
 
THINK you I am not fiend and savage too?
Think you I could not arm me with a gun
And shoot down ten of you for every one
Of my black brothers murdered, burnt by you?
Be not deceived, for every deed you do        5
I could match—out-match: am I not Africa’s son,
Black of that black land where black deeds are done?
 
But the Almighty from the darkness drew
My soul and said: Even thou shaft be a light
Awhile to burn on the benighted earth,        10
Thy dusky face I set among the white
For thee to prove thyself of highest worth;
Before the world is swallowed up in night,
To show thy little lamp: go forth, go forth!
 

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