If We Must Die Summary & Analysis by Claude McKay

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“If We Must Die” is a Shakespearean sonnet written by the Jamaican poet Claude McKay in 1919. It is a poem of political resistance: it calls for oppressed people to resist their oppressors, violently and bravely—even if they die in the struggle. Though the poem has most often been read as a call to resist anti-black racism, it does not limit its call for resistance to a specific kind of oppression. As a result, it has served as an inspiration to a wide variety of oppressed people around the globe as they fight for their rights and freedom.

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