At The Closed Gate Of Justice





To be a Negro in a day like this

Demands forgiveness. Bruised with blow on blow,

Betrayed, like him whose woe dimmed eyes gave bliss

Still must one succor those who brought one low,

To be a Negro in a day like this.



To be a Negro in a day like this

Demands rare patience--patience that can wait

In utter darkness. 'Tis the path to miss,

And knock, unheeded, at an iron gate,

To be a Negro in a day like this.



To be a Negro in a day like this

Demands strange loyalty. We serve a flag

Which is to us white freedom's emphasis.

Ah! one must love when Truth and Justice lag,

To be a Negro in a day like this.



To be a Negro in a day like this--

Alas! Lord God, what evil have we done?

Still shines the gate, all gold and amethyst,

But I pass by, the glorious goal unwon,

"Merely a Negro"--in a day like this!





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