The Dark Brother

“Lo, I am black but I am comely too, 
Black as the night, black as the deep dark caves. 
I am the scion of a race of slaves
Who helped to build a nation strong that you 
And I may stand within the world’s full view, 
Fearless and firm as dreadnoughts on rough waves; 
Holding a banner high whose floating braves
The opposition of the tried untrue. 

Casting an eye of love upon my face, 
Seeing a newer light within my eyes, 
A rarer beauty in your brother race
Will merge upon your visioning fullwise. 
Though I am black my heart through love is pure, 
And you through love my blackness shall endure!”

From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.