America’s Uncrowned Queens: Dedicated to the Heroic, Toiling Black Woman


America’s Uncrowned Queens:
Dedicated to the Heroic, Toiling Black Woman
by Drusilla Dunjee Houston

October 26, 1917 – Black Dispatch
Courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society

‘Neath a weary load upon dusky head,
Upon American streets is the tread
Of an uncrowned type of heroine,
Their labors untrumpeted and unseen.
It to her helpmate, life chance is denied
With undaunted courage, she stems the tide,
Meets some of homes needs, help make it fair;
That he may find a kingship there.

When manhood is shackled, into its place
Nature oft forces a courageous race
Of women, who with heroic spirit,
Stamp within unborn children the merit
Denied their fathers.  For what man’s disdain
Keeps from one generation, the next will gain.

We see them in rain, in cold and the heat,
As they pass us with patient, toil worn feet.
Behind some great universities wall
It is the boy or girl for whom she gives all
Sometimes the more sacrificial her fire
The less we praise it, the more we require.

Whipped with the lash, until the reddened stain,
Of her life blood ran from opening vein,
In slavery’s hour, this type was true
To virtue.  Today life’s way they pursue
As heroically.  No scorn or slight
Can change her ideals, she sees aright;
That duty done, in higher worlds will mean
That she will be more than an uncrowned queen.

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