From author, poet and (possibly) gay man-- Countee Cullen (1903- 1946) "Brown Girl".
I wanted to share this here as February is drawing to a close and so is African American
History month. I also wanted to share this because I think Countee is nearly forgotten
by the vast majority, except in the case of college classes. I believe that in order to know
exactly where we are going we have to fully understand and appreciate where we come from.
The Brown Girl
‘I am as brown as brown can be, My eyes as black as a sloe; I am as brisk as a nightingale, And as wilde as any doe. ‘My love has sent me a love-letter, Not far from yonder town, That he could not fancy me, Because I was so brown. ‘I sent him his letter back again, For his love I valu’d not, Whether that he could fancy me Or whether he could not. ‘He sent me his letter back again, That he lay dangerous sick, That I might then go speedily To give him up his faith.’ Now you shall hear what love she had Then for this love-sick man; She was a whole long summer’s day In a mile a going on. When she came to her love’s bed-side, Where he lay dangerous sick, She could not for laughing stand Upright upon her feet. She had a white wand all in her hand, And smoothd it all on his breast; ‘In faith and troth come pardon me, I hope your soul’s at rest. ‘I’ll do as much for my true-love As other maidens may; I’ll dance and sing on my love’s grave A whole twelvemonth and a day.’