Beaumont to Detroit: 1943

by Langston Hughes Saturday, Feb. 02, 2019 at 7:52 AM

Beaumont to Detroit: 1943 Langston Hughes

Beaumont to Detroit:...
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Looky here, America

What you done done

Let things drift

Until the riots come.

Now your policemen

Let your 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 fighting

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


From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (p.281)

Original: Beaumont to Detroit: 1943