Black Man Jack

Engraving from "Voices of Freedom," Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1884Upon a hill
Upon a time
A man of rhythm
Lost his rhyme

Demon people
Draped in white
Set a crucifix

Tortured screams
His desperate shrill
Upon a time
Upon a hill

The hooded men
Lit up the sky
To watch a
Negro spirit fly

Blackened skin
More black than Jack
Had ever worn
Upon his back

Clung to bones
As black with char
This tortured soul
Of Africa

As flesh made way
The flames they soared
Upon a hill
The fire roared

Once in rhythm
Now in rhyme
Was black man Jack
Upon a time

Copyright © 2002 Terry Stephen Driscoll • All rights reserved.
Engraving from “Voices of Freedom,” Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1884.