African American Poetry (1870-1927): A Digital Anthology

Julius C. Wright, "Booker T. Washington" (1906)

 Born a slave under the lash of the whips, 
 Not a word of protection could fall from his lips; 
 Full of ambition and childish vim, 
 Wondering if there was any freedom for him. 
 Days came and went, time passed away. 
 Until the joyful news was heard," 'tis freedom to-day!" 
 Up from slavery he bounded like a flash. 
 Educated himself and gave ignorance a crash. 
 Let welcome cry from every land. 
 To greet the coming of such a man. 
 The great and small have made the confession, 
 No other black man with such a possession. 
 Praised by the old, boasted of by the young. 
 Now deemed honorable by every tribe and tongue. 
 The driving-wheel of education swift 
 Stooped down his brother to uplift. 
 The greatest black man under the sun. 
 The rulers and noblemen greet him when he come. 
 Willingly helping his people free. 
 We feel proud of Booker T. 
 His teachings can't fade from human mind, 
 His works will last as long as time. 
 He well deserves the name he has won. 
 Honor to the greatest Washington! 

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