A Little Poetry

James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson

Sometimes in the middle of all the carnage, a little poetry helps to clear one’s vision. After all, the American Civil War was about some pretty defining things, a few of which are still undergoing examination.






To America

 How would you have us, as we are?

Or sinking ‘neath the load we bear?

Our eyes fixed forward on a star?

Or gazing empty at despair?


Rising or falling? Men or things?

With dragging steps or footsteps fleet?

Strong, willing sinews in your wings?

Or tightening chains about your feet?


clip_image002“To America” by James Weldon Johnson was first published in the 1917 issue of The Crisis, a magazine founded by W. E. B. DuBois to be the premier voice for civil rights.

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