Today, we continue our Wednesday poetry series for Black History Month. Enjoy the work of Frances E. W. Harper (1825-1911) and modern day poet Nikki Giovanni too.

Frances Harper poetry

By Internet Archive Book Images – https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14598047448/Source book page: https://archive.org/stream/womenofdistincti00scru/womenofdistincti00scru#page/n40/mode/1up, No restrictions, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43842190

Songs for the People

Let me make the songs for the people,
Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
Wherever they are sung.

Not for the clashing of sabres,
For carnage nor for strife;
But songs to thrill the hearts of men
With more abundant life.

Let me make the songs for the weary,
Amid life’s fever and fret,
Till hearts shall relax their tension,
And careworn brows forget.

Let me sing for little children,
Before their footsteps stray,
Sweet anthems of love and duty,
To float o’er life’s highway.

I would sing for the poor and aged,
When shadows dim their sight;
Of the bright and restful mansions,
Where there shall be no night.

Our world, so worn and weary,
Needs music, pure and strong,
To hush the jangle and discords
Of sorrow, pain, and wrong.

Music to soothe all its sorrow,
Till war and crime shall cease;
And the hearts of men grown tender
Girdle the world with peace.

~Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

 

Black History Month

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BLK History Month

If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them
on fertile ground
rain does not
dampen the land
and encourage the seeds
to root
sun does not
warm the earth
and kiss the seedlings
and tell them plain:
You’re As Good As Anybody Else
You’ve Got A Place Here, Too

~Nikki Giovanni