Slavery

Black Nikes by Harryette Mullen

‘Black Nikes,’ a poem by the American poet Harryette Mullen, was first published in Santa Monica Review (1997). This poem records a metaphorical journey of black people to stars.

Black Nikes by Harryette Mullen Visual Representation

Harriet Tubman by Eloise Greenfield

‘Harriet Tubman’ by Eloise Greenfield is a moving and simple piece of poetry about Tubman’s life. The poet explores her bravery and determination in the face of impossible odds.

Harriet Tubman by Eloise Greenfield Visual Representation

Middle Passage by Robert Hayden

‘Middle Passage’ by Robert Hayden is a narrative poem written in the 1940s. It describes the happenings of the Atlantic Slave Trade, as told from the perspective of several white narrators.

Middle Passage by Robert Hayden Visual Representation

The Slave Auction by Frances Harper

Have you ever imagined what it felt like observing innocent lives being traded at the slave auction? It is vividly portrayed through the eyes of Frances Harper in her poem ‘The Slave Auction’.

The Slave Auction by Frances Harper Visual Representation

Lineage by Margaret Walker

‘Lineage’ by Margaret Walker describes the strength of a speaker’s enslaved female ancestors and how they suffered for that strength.

The Little Black Boy by William Blake

‘The Little Black Boy’ by William Blake is a difficult poem. It delves into topics of race, racism, and slavery from the perspective of an 18th-century poet.

Boston Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson composed ‘Boston Hymn’ in late 1862, just before the emancipation proclamation. Through this poem, Emerson warns Americans of their wrongs and gives them a chance to repent of all crimes against freedom.

Boston Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson Visual Representation

Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

‘Caged Bird’, or ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ as the poem is sometimes referred to, by Maya Angelou, is arguably one of the most moving and eye-opening poems ever written.

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