When I first read “Reapers” I honestly had no idea what the poem was saying nor did I know where to begin. But after reading it over and over, I can up with the conclusion that it is about the transition between the working man to machine. The poem begins “Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones,” which lead me to believe that the black reapers are referring to man. Further down the poem the transition happens when the “Black horses drive a mower through the weeds.” Those two lines alone show the transition from man to machine. On the other hand, this poem might be more than the agricultural transformation. There is an underlying theme of slavery. So some can make an argument for why Toomer chose to use the word ‘black’ to describe the reapers and horse. First, he uses “black reapers” to refer to African American men who are working in the fields and second he uses the word ‘black’ to describe the horse to show a correlation between man and beast. He wanted to show that both man and beast were being treated like property.