by Georgia Douglas Johnson
Don’t knock at the door, little child,
I cannot let you in,
You know not what a world this is
Of cruelty and sin.
Wait in the still eternity
Until I come to you,
The world is cruel, cruel, child,
I cannot let you in!
Don’t knock at my heart, little one,
I cannot bear the pain
Of turning deaf-ear to your call
Time and time again!
You do not know the monster men
Inhabiting the earth,
Be still, be still, my precious child,
I must not give you birth!
The Harlem Renaissance was a time of cultural expression, but also a time of fear and malcontent. Black men were disrespected and mistreated and children were seeing this as a part of everyday life. Women were afraid for their children and the use of villainizing the police and white men was prevalent in the period. The frustrations of the black woman in a man’s world are seen in the piece that isn’t seen in other pieces done by the men of this period so that it gives you insight into the might of the black woman then.