W.E.B. Du Bois


January 1, 1918

The have gone to their death. Thirteen young, strong men; soldiers who have fought for a country which never was wholly theirs; men born to suffer ridicule, injustice, and, at last, death itself. They broke the law. Against their punishment, if it was legal, we cannot protest. But we can protest and we do protest against the shame­ful treatment which these men and which we, their brothers, receive all our lives, and which our fathers received, and our children await; and above all we raise our clenched hands against the hundreds of thousands of white murderers, rapists, and scoundrels who have oppressed, killed, ruined, robbed, and debased their black fellow men and fellow women, and yet, today, walk scot-free, unwhipped of justice, uncondemned by millions of their white fellow citizens, and unrebuked by the President of the United States.


For attribution, please cite this work as:
Du Bois, W.E.B. 1918. “Thirteen.” The Crisis 15 (3): 114.