The Little Black Boy By William Blake

Updated: May 6, 2020

Get ready for some difficult to read themes. Here we will deal with racism and slavery.

In this poem by Blake, from The Songs of Innocence, he expresses in beautiful verse a story that a mother tells to her young child about why they are black slaves living in England during the mid 18th century.

If you have followed along with my readings of Blake you will know that this is only the surface level. It is the "innocent" reading. The experienced reading will metaphorically, shake your world.

Do not miss this one.


The Little Black Boy


My mother bore me in the southern wild,

And I am black, but O! my soul is white;

White as an angel is the English child:

But I am black as if bereav'd of light.

My mother taught me underneath a tree

And sitting down before the heat of day,

She took me on her lap and kissed me,

And pointing to the east began to say.