Claude McKay, "Roman Holiday" (1919)
Each state invokes its soul of basest passion,
Each vies with each to find the ugliest way
To torture Negroes in the fiercest fashion.
Black Southern men, like hogs await your doom!
White wretches hunt and haul you from your huts,
They squeeze the babies out your women's womb,
They cut your members off, rip out your guts!
It is a Roman holiday, and worse,
It is the mad beast risen from his lair,
The dead accusing years' eternal curse.
Reeking of vengeance, in fulfilment here.
Bravo, Democracy! Hail greatest Power
That saved sick Europe in her darkest hour!
Published in The Liberator July 1919;
Also published in Workers Dreadnought [London]. September 6, 1919.