Black Girl Magic Lit Mag (Issue 1)

“A Song of Vengeance”

New York City, 1900


Dozens of enraged red faces bare teeth. In the late afternoon sun clubs, bricks, crowbars, and knives flash in white hands. The mob storms past the theater’s front doors like a biblical plague.

The raging men shout: “Kill the niggers!” “Find that coon son of a bitch!” “Them spooks gonna pay!”

I fear we may be trapped here. It won’t be long before the crowd busts in seeking the negro who stabbed an officer during a scuffle a few days ago. The officer had been harassing the man’s wife as they routinely do. The paddy must have died, and now we are all in danger.

William, the headliner of our new musical, yanks me by the arm away from the front doors. “We have to get out of here, Annabelle. We’ll try to sneak out the cellar and into the alley.”

I follow him and a few of the rest of the small cast past the wooden seats, behind the red velvet curtain, and down the rickety steps into the musty underbelly of the theater. Even down here, the air is thick and hot. Underground paths take us back up to the surface. William pushes open the slatted doors, and I climb up into the August daylight.

Almost immediately, we are discovered.

Black Girl Magic Lit Mag Issue 1