1] McKay is writing here about lynchings, in particular the riots in Harlem in 1919. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., read this poem into the Congressional record during World War II for its inspirational theme.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay, with an introduction by Max Eastman (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922): 53. PS 3525 A24785 H3 Robarts Library.
First publication date: July 1919
Publication date note: Liberator (July 1919).
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/4
Other poems by Claude McKay