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I Too Hurt

Source: Black Perspectives: A History of Slavery in the United States: Original Source: Calvin Schermerhorn’s Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery, Cambridge University of Press.

Do you not think my hands hurt? 

The shackles that lay upon my wrist

As I bear the pain and you gain the profits 

As I weep and I cry and you smile and shout 

As I am the one who is forced to comply. 

I am filled with sorrow 

But yet not with hate 

I keep my head up and my shoulders straight 

Yet why are you the one filled with all this hate? 


You prance and you dance 

You brag and you talk 

You force me to take the burden of your work 

But does my freedom mean your defeat? 

Does my confidence mean your dignity? 

I am myself 

And I am my own 


You have turned red in the face 

Your happiness now anger
You have made me scared and frail 

Dainty and meek 

I now have tears streaming down my cheeks

I know that you want me to be weak.


The legacy of slavery, so forth so gone 

Why would such things like this continue to go on? 


 I am hopeful, strong, and prosperous 

And I know when I reach freedom

 I will sing the song of justice and peace.

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