African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Aurelia S. Caine, "The Colored Child's Lamentations" (1921)

God help the little colored child,
And with her please abide,
To help her bear the prejudice
That comes from every side.
Be with her in her daily toil,
And when her work is o’er:
Be with her when she goes to live
Where sorrow is no more.
No matter whither she may roam,
She finds it hard to bear
The taunting tongues of the unknown,
Unless she has your care.
It seems so hard to understand
The attitude of those
Who try to hurt another one,
But oh, some day, who knows?
A mighty battle may occur
In honor of our right
To live as other men will live.
Are we to win the fight?
O Lord a new hope we desire,
To meet the other race,
To let them see and know our hearts,
And win a higher place!
Oh, why have we been the oppressed?
And suffered all in vain?
Are we to have our equal rights?
Are we to make the gain?
Our eyes are open, and we see
The wrongs done to our race.
But when the battle has been fought,
We’ll win a higher Grace.


Published in The Negro World, March 26, 1921

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