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

Georgia Douglas Johnson, "Shall I Say 'My Son, You Are Branded'?" (1919)

Shall I say, “My son, you’re branded in this country’s pageantry,
By strange subtleties you’re tethered, and no forum sets you free?”
Shall I mark the young lights fading through your soul-enchannelled eye,
As the dusky pall of shadows screen the highway of your sky?

Or shall I, with love prophetic, bid you dauntlessly arise.
Spurn the handicap that clogs you, taking what the world denies,
Bid you storm the sullen fortress wrought by prejudice and wrong
With a faith that shall not falter, in your heart and on your tongue!

First published in The Crisis, August 1919

This page has paths:

This page has tags: