Image for the poem that I am black

that I am black

"Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor—all men know something
of poverty; not that men are wicked—who is good? Not that men are ignorant—
what is truth?  Nay, but that men know so little of men.” —W.E.B. Dubois

that i am black is not
        to say you are not white;
that i am wrong is not
        to say that you are right.
while hungry beg i, how
        can you be so well-fed,
so full of life, while here
        i grovel, all but dead?
that you have nightmares means
        not that i have not dreams;
your narrow views mean not
        i cannot grasp extremes;
could i see not, scarce would
        i fathom you were blind!
my stolen freedom liberates
         not you, confined
by cruel vigil with
        your knee upon my neck.
shame’s salt sea mine, proudly
        you claim the quarterdeck;
my lowly being but under-
        scores your fickle pride,
whose false content my lack
        has merely amplified.
that you are white is not
        to say that nothing black
can find true purchase in
        the earth’s vast almanac!
© Copyright 2020 June 24
by Clyve A. Bowen♫
Author's Note
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