“White Man” and “Good Morning, Revolution” by Langston HughesMarch 5, 2012
New Masses, December 15, 1936
Sure, I know you!
You’re a White Man.
I’m a Negro.
You take all the best jobs
And leave us the garbage cans to empty and
The halls to clean.
You have a good time in a big house at
And rent us the back alleys
And the dirty slums.
You enjoy Rome–
And take Ethiopia.
White Man! White Man!
Let Louis Armstrong play it–
And you copyright it
And make the money.
You’re the smart guy, White Man!
You got everything!
I hear your name ain’t really White Man.
I hear it’s something
Marx wrote down
Fifty years ago–
That rich people don’t like to read.
Is that true, White Man?
Is your name in a book
Called The Communist Manifesto?
Is your name spelled
Are you always a White Man?
Good Morning, Revolution
New Masses, September 1932
Good morning Revolution:
You are the best friend
I ever had.
We gonna pal around together from now on.
Say, listen, Revolution:
You know the boss where I used to work,
The guy that gimme the air to cut expenses,
He wrote a long letter to the papers about you:
Said you was a trouble maker, a alien-enemy,
In other words a son-of-a-bitch.
He called up the police
And told’em to watch out for a guy
The boss knows you are my friend.
He sees us hanging out together
He knows we’re hungry and ragged,
And ain’t got a damn thing in this world –
And are gonna to do something about it.
The boss got all his needs, certainly,
Owns a lotta houses,
Runs politics, bribes police
Pays off congress
And struts all over earth –
But me, I ain’t never had enough to eat.
Me, I ain’t never been warm in winter.
Me, I ain’t never known security –
All my life, been livin’ hand to mouth
Hand to mouth.
We’re buddies, see –
We can take everything:
Factories, arsenals, houses, ships,
Railroads, forests, fields, orchards,
Bus lines, telegraphs, radios,
(Jesus! Raise hell with radios!)
Steel mills, coal mines, oil wells, gas,
All the tools of production.
(Great day in the morning!)
And turn’em over to the people who work.
Rule and run’em for us people who work.
Boy! Them radios!
Broadcasting that very first morning to USSR:
Another member of the International Soviet’s done come
Greetings to the Socialist Soviet Republics
Hey you rising workers everywhere greetings –
And we’ll sign it: Germany
Sign it: China
Sign it: Africa
Sign it: Italy
Sign it: America
Sign it with my one name: Worker
On that day when no one will be hungry, cold oppressed,
Anywhere in the world again.
That’s our job!
I been starvin’ too long
Let’s go, Revolution!