Prelude to Our Age – A Negro History Poem – Langston Hughes (pt. 6)

Other hands whose fingers intertwine
With mine tell our story, too:
Park, Myrdal, Sinclair lewis,
Smith, Van Vechten, Bucklin Moon.
Surveys, novels, movies, plays
That trace the maze of patterns
Woven by democracy and me,
Now free.

And all the while
The rising power of my vote
Helping to build democracy –
My vote, my labor, lodges, clubs,
My N.A.A.C.P. –
The National Association
For the Advancement
Of Colored People –

All the way from a Jim Crow dining car
To the United States Supreme Court –
For the right to get a meal on a train.

All the way from a Jim crow School
To the United States Supreme Court –
For the right to equal education.

All the way from ghetto covenants
To the United States Supreme Court –
For the right to housing free from segregation.

Thus I help to build democracy
For our nation.
Thus by decree across the history of our land –
The shadow of my hand:
Negro.

All this
A prelude to our age:
Today.

Tomorrow
Is another
Page.

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