STRONG MEN by Sterling A. Brown.

They dragged you from the homeland, They chained you in coffles,
They huddled you spoon-fashion in filthy hatches,
They sold you to give a few gentlemen ease.

They broke you in like oxen, They scourged you, They branded you,
They made your women breeders, They swelled your numbers with bastards.. They taught you the religion they disgraced.
You sang:
Keep a-inchin’ along
Lak a po’ inch worm…
You sang:
By and Bye
I’m gonna lay down this heaby load…
You sang:
Walk togedder, chillen,
Dontcha git weary…
The strong men keep a-comin’ on
The strong men get stronger.

They point with pride to the roads you built for them,
They ride in comfort over the rails you laid for them.
They put hammers in your hands
And said-Drive so much before sundown.
You sang:
Ain’t no hammah
In dis lan’
Strikes lak mine, bebby,
Stikes lak mine.
They copped you in their kitchens,
They penned you in their factories,
They gave you the jobs that they were too good for,
They tried to guarantee happiness to themselves
By shunting dirt and misery to you….

Sterling A. Brown

Category: Healing,