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

Langston Hughes, "Lament for Dark Peoples" (1924)

I was a red man one time,
But the white men came.
I was a black man, too,
But the white men came.

They drove me out of the forest.
They took me away from the jungles.
I lost my trees.
I lost my silver moons.

Now they've caged me
In the circus of civilization.
Now I herd with the many--
Caged in the circus of civilization.

Published in The Crisis, June 1924
Also published in The Weary Blues, 1926

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