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

Effie Lee Newsome, "The Bronze Legacy (To a Brown Boy)" (1922)

'Tis a noble gift to be brown, all brown,
   Like the strongest things that make up this earth,
Like the mountains grave and grand,
   Even like the very land,
   Even like the trunks of trees--
   Even oaks, to be like these!
God builds his strength in bronze.

To be brown like thrush and lark!
   Like the subtle wren so dark!
Nay, the king of beasts wears brown;
   Eagles are of this same hue.
I thank God, then, I am brown.
   Brown has mighty things to do. 

Published in The Crisis, October 1922

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