The Crucifying of Christ by the White South

The image below–”Christmas in Georgia, 1916,” by Lorenzo Harris, and taken from the December 1916 issue of The Crisis (pp. 78-79). The caption reads: “Inasmuch as ye did unto the least of these, My brethren, ye did it unto Me.”

“Christ Recrucified” (1922)

The South is crucifying Christ again
Christ’s awful wrong is that he’s dark of hue
The sin for which no blamelessness atones;
But lest the sameness of the cross should tire,
They kill him now with famished tongues of fire,
And while he burns, good men, and women, too,
Shout, battling for his black and brittle bones.

“The Black Christ” (1929)

O Form immaculately born,
Betrayed a thousand times each morn,
As many times each night denied,
Surrendered, tortured, crucified!
That love which has no boundary;
Our eyes have looked on Calvary (135-136).

[Source: James H. Smylie, “Countee Cullen’s ‘The Black Christ,’” Theology Today38/2 (July 1981): 160-73]



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