Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay, with an introduction by Max Eastman (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922): 32. PS 3525 A24785 H3 Robarts Library.
1Oh when I think of my long-suffering race,
2For weary centuries despised, oppressed,
3Enslaved and lynched, denied a human place
4In the great life line of the Christian West;
5And in the Black Land disinherited,
6Robbed in the ancient country of its birth,
7My heart grows sick with hate, becomes as lead,
8For this my race that has no home on earth.
9Then from the dark depths of my soul I cry
10To the avenging angel to consume
11The white man's world of wonders utterly:
12Let it be swallowed up in earth's vast womb,
13Or upward roll as sacrificial smoke
14To liberate my people from its yoke!
Publication Start Year
Liberator (July 1921).
RPO poem Editors