Sunday, September 15, 2013

If We Must Die: Claude McKay - Born September 15, 1890

 

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173960


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Mon, 1890-09-15
This date marks the birthday of Claude McKay in 1890. He was an African American writer, born in Jamaica.
He was educated by his older brother, who owned a library of English novels, poetry, and scientific texts. At twenty, McKay published a book of verse called "Songs of Jamaica," recording his impressions of Black life in Jamaica in dialect. In 1912, he traveled to the United States to attend Tuskegee Institute. He remained there only a few months, leaving to study agriculture at Kansas State University.
After 1914 several of his poems were published in various American periodicals; they were primarily lyric works decrying injustice....MORE: http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/claude-mckay-outstan...





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