An Unhappy Race by Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)


John Brack Australia 1920–1999. Collins St, 5p.m. 1955 oil on canvas 114.6 x 162.9 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1956 (Photo source)

An Unhappy Race

White fellow, you are the unhappy race.

You alone have left nature and made civilised laws.

You have enslaved yourselves as you enslaved the horse and

other wild things.

Why, white man?

Your police lock up your tribe in houses with bars,

We see poor women scrubbing floors of richer women.

Why, white man, why?

You laugh at ‘poor blackfellow’, you say we must be like you.

You say we must leave the old freedom and leisure,

We must be civilised and work for you.

Why, white fellow?

Leave us alone, we don’t want your collars and ties,

We don’t need your routines and compulsions.

We want the old freedom and joy that all things have but you,

Poor white man of the unhappy race.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal

(Kath Walker)


Lindsay Imbarndarinja
Central Australian Landscape
watercolour on watercolour board
19 x 27 cm (Photo source)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s