Augusta, your story made me cry
For you were blessed with an artist’s genius
In a time when women,
Especially women of color,
Were not recognized for their talents.
Augusta, I pained at reading of your husbands lost,
Disease taking both away.
I became angry as I learned
How racial discrimination
Denied you opportunities to grow.
Augusta, a shallow feeling came over me
As I thought how our society
Could not benefit from your talent and
Because of the nature of hate.
Augusta, shock set in
As I thought of you picking and sorting mushrooms
In the dark and smelly block houses
Rich with hot soil
But bereft of any tolerable light.
Oh, Augusta, how I wish
Your life had been different.
The tragedies of love, poverty, and
Discrimination leave with me
Graven images for what they did to your life.
(New York Times: 5/11/1923, p.17)