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Brother Mine

Raymond Garfield Dandridge 1882 (Cincinnati, Ohio) – 1930 (Cincinnati, Ohio)



Prejudice with venom smote every word and act;
Snuffed was the light of knowledge from your view.
Unbefriended martyr, sole object of attack,
Has your fair brother fairly dealt with you,
Brother mine?

Upon defenseless womanhood he preyed;
Then freely chatteled blood one half his own.
Just punishment has only been delayed;
'Tis written; 'Ye shall reap as ye have sown,'
Brother mine.

In doctored balance Justice balanced you;
In your defense her vengeful sword ne'er stirred;
Courts of Law, barring facts, basing guilt on hue,
Condemned you, ere the evidence was heard—
Brother mine.

Your constant prayer that you might prove your worth
For equal right to struggle, live, and die,
So long unheard, unheeded, here on earth,
Found audience in One beyond the sky—
Brother 'mine.

'Vengence is Mine, I will repay!' so saith the Lord.
Thusly assured, rail not at destiny.
To righteousness He promised just reward;
And to the bondman promised Liberty—
Brother mine.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Raymond Garfield Dandridge

Raymond Garfield Dandridge (1882/1883-1930) was an American poet who was born and lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1911 he was partially paralyzed, leaving him bedridden for the rest of his life, and subsequently taught himself to write with his left hand. He published three volumes of poetry: Penciled Poems (Powell & White, 1917), The Poet and Other Poems (Powell & White, 1920), and Zalka Peetruza and Other Poems (McDonald, 1928). Influenced by Paul Laurence Dunbar, he wrote many of his poems in African-American dialect. He made his living primarily by selling coal by telephone, and was also literary editor of the Cincinnati Journal.  more…

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