Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"M" is for McKay

I read some literature/poetry from the Harlem Renaissance period in school.  When thinking of a poet whose name ended in "M" and considering it is Black History Month, I was pleased when I stumbled across Claude McKay (1890-1948).  This Jamaican born author was shocked at the prevalent racism in America; a portion of his poetry centers on this racism theme.  For more information about McMay, click the following link of a website I visited:  Harlem Shadows

Harlem Shadows
by Claude McKay

I hear the halting footsteps of a lass
In Negro Harlem when the night lets fall
Its veil. I see the shapes of girls who pass
To bend and barter at desire's call.
Ah, little dark girls who in slippered feet
Go prowling through the night from street to street!

Through the long night until the silver break
Of day the little gray feet know no rest;
Through the lone night until the last snow-flake
Has dropped from heaven upon the earth's white breast,
The dusky, half-clad girls of tired feet
Are trudging, thinly shod, from street to street.

Ah, stern harsh world, that in the wretched way
Of poverty, dishonor and disgrace,
Has pushed the timid little feet of clay,
The sacred brown feet of my fallen race!
Ah, heart of me, the weary, weary feet
In Harlem wandering from street to street.

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