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Grimke, Angelina Weld (1880-1958)

Angelina Weld Grimke

Angelina Weld Grimke

Born in Boston and raised by her father of mixed ancestry, the son of a slave, Angelina Weld Grimke fought against racism. Her education and experience in gymastics education were followed by teaching English to high school students.

Grimke wrote verse from the Boston Transcript. Her poems on lynching and racist prejudice were supplemented by her staged drama, Rachael: A Play of Protest—the first play by an African-American woman.



The Poetry of Angelina Weld Grimke

Touch me, touch me,
Little cool grass fingers,
Elusive, delicate grass fingers.
With your shy brushings,
Touch my face&mdash
My naked arms&mdash
My thighs&mdash
My feet.
Is there nothing that is kind?
You need not fear me.
Soon I shall be too far beneath you,
For you to reach me, even,
With your tiny timorous toes.

There is a tree, by day,
That, at night,
Has a shadow,
A hand huge and black
With fingers long and black.
All through the dark,
Against the white man’s house,
In the little wind,
the black hand plucks and plucks
At the bricks.
The bricks are the color of blood and very small.
Is it a black hand,
Or is it a shadow?


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