To loose the shackled hand!
Four million who have turned their eyes
Toward their fatherland.
Four million who demand the stake
Shall not consume their kin!
Four million seeking human rights,
With God to help them win.
Four million pointing to the past:
Its skeletons concealed!
Four million organized at last,
That tyrants be revealed.
Four million crying for their rights
To sail across the sea:
Four million asking Liberty
To set the black man free.
Four million, children all of slaves,
Reared under stripes and stars,
Hemmed in by the Atlantic waves
Oppressors turn to bars.
Four million with one rally cry,
And who are wide awake.
Spurred on by hopes that cannot die
For Egypt’s daughter’s sake.
Four million souls inspired to march
Wherever Freedom’s hand
Shall beckon, and to thrill the hearts
Of black men of this land.
Four million who will not be hushed,
Whose protests will not cease,
Until their race, dragged through the mire,
Shall find means of relief.
Published in Negro World, March 5, 1921