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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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"The White Man's Burden" (Excerpt)

In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled “The White Man’s Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands.” In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the “burden” of empire, as had [...]

"The Brown Man's Burden" (Excerpt)

Much like Lulu Baxter Guy's "The Black Man's Burden," Henry Labouchère's "The Brown Man's Burden" shifts the emphasis of Kipling's notorious poem, offering a view of imperialism from the perspective of those who were most directly affected by the [...]

"The Poor Man's Burden" (Excerpt)

This poem was one of a number of parodies written in response to Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden." Here the author points out the special misery that imperialism abroad places on working people back home.

"The Black Man's Burden" (Excerpt)

Among the dozens of replies to Rudyard Kipling’s pro-imperialist poem "The White Man's Burden," was “The Black Man’s Burden,” written by African-American clergyman and editor H. T. Johnson and published in April 1899. A “Black Man’s [...]

A Mill Girl Tells Her Story of Work

Lucy Larcom worked in the mills at Lowell as a young woman. Forty years later, she described her experiences in her book An Idyl of Work. She dedicated the book "to working women."

Tags: Lowell
Item Type: Fiction/Poetry
A Mill Girl Tells Her Story of Work (with text supports)

Lucy Larcom worked in the mills of Lowell as a young woman. Forty years later, she described her experiences in her book An Idyl of Work. She dedicated the book "to working women."

"Child of the Romans"

The poetry of Carl Sandburg often documented the lives of ordinary working people in his adopted city of Chicago. Here he contrasts the backbreaking work and simple lunch of a railroad laborer with the comfortable lives and fine food enjoyed by the [...]

An Immigrant's Haiku Records Great Dreams

This haiku records the nearly universal hope of immigrants to the United States. The majority of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. between 1884 and 1908 were men and women from rural areas who had been displaced because of high land prices and rents. [...]

Cuba and Puerto Rico—"Two Wings of the Same Bird"

Puerto Rican poet and journalist Lola Rodríguez de Tió was one of the most prominent early advocates for Puerto Rican independence. Among her most popular works was "A Cuba," from which the excerpt below is taken. Rodríguez lived her final years [...]