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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938). The Book of American Negro Poetry. 1922.

To the White Fiends

THINK you I am not fiend and savage too?

Think you I could not arm me with a gun

And shoot down ten of you for every one

Of my black brothers murdered, burnt by you?

Be not deceived, for every deed you do

I could match—out-match: am I not Africa’s son,

Black of that black land where black deeds are done?

But the Almighty from the darkness drew

My soul and said: Even thou shaft be a light

Awhile to burn on the benighted earth,

Thy dusky face I set among the white

For thee to prove thyself of highest worth;

Before the world is swallowed up in night,

To show thy little lamp: go forth, go forth!