Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance: African American Women Writers 1900-1922

The Black Draftee From Dixie

(Twelve Negro soldiers who had served overseas were
lynched upon their return to their homes in the South)
Upon his dull ear fell the stern command;
And tho' scarce knowing why or whither, he
Went forth prepared to battle loyally,
And questioned not your faith, O Dixie-land!
And tho' the task assigned were small or grand,--
If toiling at mean tasks ingloriously,
Or in fierce combat fighting valiantly,--
With poise magnificent he took his stand!
What tho' the hero-warrior was black?
His heart was white and loyal to the core;
And when to his loved Dixie he came back,
Maimed, in the duty done on foreign shore,
Where from the hell of war he never flinched,
Because he cried, "Democracy," was lynched.

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