“Scottsboro” by Langston Hughes

images (1)8 BLACK BOYS IN A SOUTHERN JAIL
WORLD, TURN PALE!

8 black boys and one white lie.
Is it much to die?

Is it much to die when immortal feet
March with you down Time’s street,
When beyond steel bars sound the deathless drums
Like a mighty heart-beat as they come?

Who comes?

Christ,
Who fought alone

John Broan.

That mad mob
That tore the Bastile down
Stone by stone.

Moses.

Jeanne d’Arc.

Dessalines.

Nat Turner.

Fighters for the free.

Lenin with the flag blood red.

Not dead! Not dead!
None of those is dead.

Gandhi.

Sandino.

Evangelista, too.

To walk with you —

8 BLACK BOYS IN A SOUTHERN JAIL
WORLD, TURN PALE!

 

– Scottsboro Limited, Four Poems and a Play in Verse. New York: Golden Stair Press, 1932

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