Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Lesson Plans > African American Identity in the Gilded Age

Back to Lesson Plans

African American baseball players from Morris Brown College

[Detail] African American baseball players from Morris Brown College

“A Fairer Hope, A Brighter Morn” By Mrs.Francis E. W. Harper

Oh prophet of evil, could not your voice
In our new hopes and freedom rejoice?
'Mid the light which streams around our way
Was there naught to see but an evil day?
Nothing but vengeance, wrath and hate,


Beyond the mist of your gloomy fears,
I see the promise of brighter years.
Through the dark I see their golden hem
And my heart gives out its glad amen.

The banner of Christ was your sacred trust,
But you trailed that banner in the dust,
And mockingly told us amid our pain
The hand of your God had forged our chain.

We stumbled and groped through the dreary night
Till our fingers touched God's robe of light;
And we knew He heard, from his lofty throne,
Our saddest cries and faintest moan.

The cross you have covered with sin and shame
We'll bear aloft in Christ's holy name.
Oh, never again may its folds be furled
While sorrow and sin enshroud our world!

God, to whose fingers thrills each heart beat,
Has not sent us to walk with aimless feet,
To cover and crouch, with bated breath
From margins of life to shores of death.

Higher and better than hate for hate,
Like the scorpion fangs that desolate,
Is the hope of a brighter, fairer morn
And a peace and a love that shall yet be born;

When the Negro shall hold an honored place,
The friend and helper of every race;
His mission to build and not destroy.
And gladden the world with love and joy.

Full text (Library of Congress/Daniel A.P. Murray Pamphlet Collection)