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Ode to Justice

     (Dedicated to the Scottsboro Boys)*

Lady Justice is often blind
To honor, duty, and fair play
And seems to be devoid of mind,
Reason and virtue; and some say
She seems to be both deaf and dumb,
Like barren earth when all the snow
Leaves its warm brown soul quite numb.
For buds, like Justice, will not grow
Where faith and duty lie asleep
And where you find the soul within
Is warped and stained, and buried deep
In tainted earth and vicious sin.

The soul of Justice cannot thrive
On barren soil and stay alive.

*The Scottsboro Boys were a group of nine black teenagers who in 1931 were falsely
accused of raping two white female hoboes on a train and sentenced to death in
Scottsboro, Alabama. The NAACP and the Communist Party both took up their cause
and the case went through several appeals while the accused remained in jail until
finally they were freed.

Written by Dorothy Vena Johnson (1898-1970)


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