Langston Hughes: Beaumont to Detroit (1943)

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Langston Hughes: Beaumont to Detroit (1943)

Looky here, America
What you done done –
Let things drift
Until the riots come

Now your policemen
Let the mobs run free.
I reckon you don’t care
Nothing about me.

You tell me that hitler
Is a mighty bad man.
I guess he took lessons
From the ku klux klan.

You tell me mussolini’s
Got an evil heart.
Well, it mus-a been in Beaumont
That he had his start –

Cause everything that hitler
And mussolini do
Negroes get the same
Treatment from you

You jim crowed me
Before hitler rose to power –
And you’re still jim crowing me
Right now, this very hour.

Yet you say we’re fightin
For democracy.
Then why don’t democracy
Include me?

I ask you this question
Cause I want to know
How long I got to fight
BOTH HITLER – AND JIM CROW.


Source: Discovering Langston and the Historical Dialectic | Frankly Speaking

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