African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Daniel Webster Davis, "The Voice of the Negro" (1904)

Stop! O, Nation, stop and listen!
Listen with your heart and brain,
Hear the weird Voice of the Negro,
Coming up from Southern plain :
From the brakes of Louisiana,
From the fields of whit’ning grain,
From the lees of Mississippi,
Listen, as it comes again.

Not for social recognition,
Not for alms this Voice is rife.
For this, and only this 'tis pleading--
A man's chance in the race of life.
For an equal chance to labor,
And honest pay for honest toil;
Give this, and by the God who made us,
We'll win success on Southern soil. 

We still have hope, tho' darkness lowers,
And tbunders spread their dread alarms;
Faith in the best blood of the Southland,
Faith in the strength of our own arms,
Faith in the truth, tbo’crushed and bleeding;
That justice in man's heart still dwells,
We'll kiss the rod, then rise and labor,
God reigns above, and all is well.

Published in Voice of the Negro Magazine, February 1904

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