"Poetry for the People": Reading Garveyism through Poetry

The Saving Slave, by Ethel Trew Dunlap

    It is the slave who taught me how

    To find my way to God--

    The slave whose sires have fed the stake

    And felt the white man’s rod.


    O trust the wisdom of the race

    Whom suffering has taught.

    They are with vision that the blood

    Of their forefathers bought.


    And while the stake consumes their kin,

    Their lips are teaching me

    How to forgive and tread the path

    With Christ of Galilea.


    They saved me from the white man’s curse--

    The slave with tender arm

    Pressed me unto his loving breast

    Until my heart grew warm.


    He saved me from the Aryan pride--

    I clasped the Afric hand

    To flea Gomorrah’s certain curse

    That hovers o’er this land.


    As doves return to evening bowers,

    When my soul seeks repose,

    To Ephraim’s rare love I fly,

    With all my joys and woes.


    I could not bear the cross alone

    Unless the saving slave

    Walked with me in my painful path

    On this side of the wave.

From the September 3, 1921 issue.

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