Claude McKay

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The Lynching

McKay, Claude

Last Updated: Dec-04-2006
Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem


The title announces the event described in the poem: the lynching of a black man, already burned to a char by an angry mob. Opening lines emphasize ascendency of spirit, from the "swinging char" to the father in heaven in whose bosom the hanged man will dwell. The spiritual tone is replaced, however, by an account of the cruelties inflicted on this tortured man and the behavior of sorrowless women and children dancing around the "dreadful thing in fiendish glee."

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