"The Black Finger" exemplifies the black pride and optimism characteristic of the New Negro Renaissance. In this poem and in "Tenebris," which may be read as a companion piece, Grimké draws her symbolism from nature. In the first, a straight, sensitive, exquisite cypress symbolizes a black finger pointing upward, whereas in "Tenebris," the tree at night casts a shadow--"A hand huge and black, / With fingers long and black" that pluck at the small bricks, "the color of blood," of the white man's house. Each poem concludes with a question. The final lines in "The Black Finger" ask, "Why, beautiful, still finger are you black?/And why are you pointing upwards?"; in "Tenebris" the speaker asks, "Is it a black hand,/Or is it a shadow?" The suggestions in both poems are clear: in "The Black Finger" optimism and pride; and in "Tenebris" a foreshadowing, a forewarning of racial unrest.