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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 11:31 PM
Original message
Langston Hughes' poems
By what sends
the white kids
I ain't sent:
I know I can't
be President.

What don't bug
them white kids
sure bugs me:
We know everybody
ain't free.

Lies written down
for white folks
ain't for us a-tall:
Liberty And Justice--
Huh!--For All?
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death



EVERY DEATH CREATES NEW ENEMIES
MORE TERRORISTS
MORE DANGER
MORE DEATH
AND REMEMBER...
HE IS JUST GETTING STARTED...
BUSH'S PLAN FOR PEACE
IS THE PEACE OF THE COMMON GRAVE

LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN

http://www.bushflash.com/pax.html



Let America be America Again...by Langston Hughes


Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. By the Great Goddess, what a testament of hope!
It's been too long since I've read Langston Hughes -- what searing honesty he had. And in poems like this one -- to end on a note of hope, a vow that this nation CAN be what it promises to be.

Hekate
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Mike Niendorff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. Motto

I play it cool
And dig all jive.
That's the reason
I stay alive.

My motto,
As I live and learn,
is:
Dig And Be Dug
In Return



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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. : Will V-Day be Me-Day Too?
Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too?
Langston Hughes


Over There,
World War II.

Dear Fellow Americans,
I write this letter
Hoping times will be better
When this war
Is through.
I'm a Tan-skinned Yank
Driving a tank.
I ask, WILL V-DAY
BE ME-DAY, TOO?

I wear a U. S. uniform.
I've done the enemy much harm,
I've driven back
The Germans and the Japs,
From Burma to the Rhine.
On every battle line,
I've dropped defeat
Into the Fascists' laps.

I am a Negro American
Out to defend my land
Army, Navy, Air Corps--
I am there.
I take munitions through,
I fight--or stevedore, too.
I face death the same as you do
Everywhere.

I've seen my buddy lying
Where he fell.
I've watched him dying
I promised him that I would try
To make our land a land
Where his son could be a man--
And there'd be no Jim Crow birds
Left in our sky.

So this is what I want to know:
When we see Victory's glow,
Will you still let old Jim Crow
Hold me back?
When all those foreign folks who've waited--
Italians, Chinese, Danes--are liberated.
Will I still be ill-fated
Because I'm black?

Here in my own, my native land,
Will the Jim Crow laws still stand?
Will Dixie lynch me still
When I return?
Or will you comrades in arms
From the factories and the farms,
Have learned what this war
Was fought for us to learn?

When I take off my uniform,
Will I be safe from harm--
Or will you do me
As the Germans did the Jews?
When I've helped this world to save,
Shall I still be color's slave?
Or will Victory change
Your antiquated views?

You can't say I didn't fight
To smash the Fascists' might.
You can't say I wasn't with you
in each battle.
As a soldier, and a friend.
When this war comes to an end,
Will you herd me in a Jim Crow car
Like cattle?

Or will you stand up like a man
At home and take your stand
For Democracy?
That's all I ask of you.
When we lay the guns away
To celebrate
Our Victory Day
WILL V-DAY BE ME-DAY, TOO?
That's what I want to know.

Sincerely,
GI Joe.

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Mike Niendorff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. Final Call

SEND FOR THE PIED PIPER AND LET HIM PIPE THE RATS
AWAY.
SEND FOR ROBIN HOOD TO CLINCH THE ANTI-POVERTY
CAMPAIGN.
SEND FOR THE FAIRY QUEEN WITH A WAVE OF THE
WAND
TO MAKE US ALL INTO PRINCES AND PRINCESSES.
SEND FOR KING ARTHUR TO BRING THE HOLY GRAIL.
SEND FOR OLD MAN MOSES TO LAY DOWN THE LAW.
SEND FOR JESUS TO PREACH THE SERMON ON THE
MOUNT.
SEND FOR DREYFUS TO CRY "J'ACCUSE!"
SEND FOR DEAD BLIND LEMON TO SING THE B FLAT
BLUES

SEND FOR ROBESPIERRE TO SCREAM "CA IRA! CA IRA!
CA IRA!"

SEND (GOD FORBID -- HE'S NOT DEAD LONG ENOUGH!)
FOR LAMUMBA TO CRY "FREEDOM NOW!"
SEND FOR LAFAYETTE AND TELL HIM, "HELP! HELP ME!"
SEND FOR DENMARK VESEY CRYING, "FREE!"
FOR CINQUE SAYING, "RUN A NEW FLAG UP THE MAST."
FOR OLD JOHN BROWN WHO KNEW SLAVERY COULDN'T
LAST.
SEND FOR LENIN! (DON'T YOU DARE! -- HE CAN'T COME
HERE!)
SEND FOR TROTSKY! (WHAT? DON'T CONFUSE THE ISSUE
PLEASE!)
SEND FOR UNCLE TOM ON HIS MIGHTY KNEES.
SEND FOR LINCOLN, SEND FOR GRANT.
SEND FOR FREDERICK DOUGLASS, GARRISON, BEECHER,
LOWELL.
SEND FOR HARRIETT TUBMAN, OLD SOUJOURNER TRUTH.
SEND FOR MARCUS GARVEY (WHAT?) SUFI (WHO?)
FATHER DIVINE (WHERE?)
DuBOIS (WHEN?) MALCOLM (OH!) SEND FOR STOKELY.
(NO?) THEN
SEND FOR ADAM POWELL ON A NON-SUBPOENA DAY.
SEND FOR THE PIED PIPER TO PIPE OUR RATS AWAY.

(And if nobody comes, send for me.)


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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. Dreams
Dreams


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes

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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Love it and all the rest of his work!


Langston Hughes was a national treasure.
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FDRrocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. "Let America Be America Again", "Dream Deferred"
Edited on Tue May-25-04 12:00 AM by FDRrocks
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?


(edited due to possible DU copyright violation) http://www.poetryconnection.net/poets/Langston_Hughes/2...

And of course the superb "Harlem: A Dream Deferred"

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
7. Theme for English B. . .
The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.


I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white--
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me--
although you're older--and white--
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.


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Mike Niendorff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
8. Mother in Wartime

As if it were some noble thing,
She spoke of sons at war,
As if freedom's cause
Were pled anew at some heroic bar,
As if the weapons used today
Killed with great elan,
As if technicolor banners flew
To honor modern man --
Believing everything she read
In the daily news,
(No in-between to choose)
She thought that only
One side won,
Not that both
Might lose.


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Mike Niendorff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. Justice

That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.


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