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.