Poems of the Civil Rights Movement

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The Forerunners
From the Freedom Movement
Freedom School Poems
About the Freedom Movement

The Forerunners

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)
       The Song of the Smoke

Sterling Brown (1903-1989)
       Strong Men

Countee Cullen (1903-1946)
       Saturday's Child

Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872-1906)
       We Wear the Mask
       The Colored Soldiers
       The Haunted Oak

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911)
       The Slave Auction
       The Slave Mother
       Bury Me in a Free Land
       Aunt Chloe's Politics

Robert Hayden
       Frederick Douglas

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
       Children's Rhymes
       Comes the Colored Hour
       I, Too, Sing America
       Let America Be America Again
       What Happens to a Dream Deferred?
       Down Where I Am
       Backlash Blues

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)
       Fifty Years, 1863-1913
       Lift Every Voice and Sing

Claude McKay (1891-1948)
       White Houses
       If We Must Die

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)
       Ain't I a Woman?

From the Freedom Movement

Chude Pam Allen (Pam Parker)
       To Be Twenty Again
       For Justice and For Love
       Wayne Yancey

Bob Beech
       Christmas came early this year

Strider "Arkansas" Benston
       Ode to Jimmy Lee
       May Your Hands Always be Busy

Joan Dresner Bernstein
       The Little Girl From Little Rock

Margaret Block
       Vote or Die
       If You Don't Vote, Don't Cry
       Justice and Jive (A History Poem of American Justice)
       For My Young Black Brothers

Nina Boal
       Meridian Jail

Julian Bond
       Look At That Girl
       I Too, Hear America Singing

Joyce Brown (16)
       The House of Liberty

Charlie Cobb, Furrows (60-page booklet)
       Furrows, spring '67
       L.A. the Order of Things, August '65
       Memory, summer '65
       Lie Still Unhappiness Hush, spring '65
       And If
       Motto! summer '65
       And Soft Sweet Breezes, spring '65
       Night Storm, Atlanta spring '65
       A Slave Song, May, '65
       Birmingham 1963, winter '66
       First Views of the Going, Brandon MS winter 1963
       Lowndes County Staff Sketches, May 3, 1966
       For Sammy Younge, winter '66
       #80 Haiku, Tougaloo '66
       Mobile 1964, March '66
       In the Furrows of the World
       Mekonsippi #1
       To Vietnam, Hanoi April 1967
       Ain't That a Groove! Atlanta

Fatima Cortez-Todd
       To Rest Safe and be Fed

Charles Fager
       On Meeting Mrs. Septima Poinsette Clark

Jerry Farber
       The Liberals' Song

Sam Friedman
       Two-Two-Nineteen Sixty

Betty Gamble
       A Mother's Plea

LuLu Westbrook Griffin
       Americus, Georgia in Sixty Three
       Memories of The Stockade
       Po' Man
       Move On
       Justice Let it Stand
       Once Upon a Time
       Martin L. King & Elvis, The "KING" Of ROCK
       Struttin' Right Up
       Discrimination Among Coloreds/Blacks the Shade of Skin Tone

Vincent Harding
       Light in the Asphalt Jungle

Bruce Hartford
       Mississippi Voter Rally
       Grenada March #107

Casey Hayden
       On Organizing

Gloria Larry House
       Selma, 1965

Will Inman
       A Mirror to the South (for Emmett Louis Till)

Abdul Aziz Khaalis (Jan Leighton Triggs)
       Mississippi Street Song in Hinds County
       Parchman Cell
       A Song for Charlie
       1961 Jackson Safe House

Steve McNichols
       A Moment of Silence

Tamam Tracy Moncur (Tracy Sims)
       Will the Real America Please Stand!
       Hey America "Put Some Respect on God's Name!"
       This Little Light of Mine

Bob Moses
       Deep Black 'Sippi Willie

Gregory Orr
       The Demonstration
       Solitary Confinement

Zellie Rainey Orr
       We Are One

Bernice Johnson Reagon
       Ella's Song

Stephen Rose
       The Stones Cried Out

Joseph Ruggerio
       Dark is the Night

Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner
       fannie lou...the woman who

Jane Stembridge
       Mrs. Hamer
       The Children
       The Flute
       About Jesus

Rita Walker
       Poem by Rita Walker

Molly Lynn Watt
       Dr. King Looked Out
       Civil Rights Update
       Ballad of Jimmie Lee Jackson
       Race Riff
       Fayette County Tennessee
       Outside Agitator N*****-Lover Commie
       Tennessee Road Signs 1963
       Which Side Are You On?
       Instructions at Rev. Reeb's Home (1965)

Annette Jones White
       Mass Meeting in Albany, Georgia
       To Bernice Reagon (Revisited)
       Looking Glass Self
       The Patio Fishio
       On Voting
       SNCC and the Porches of Southwest Georgia
       SNCC Reunion

Jim Williams
       What Then?
       A Keen for Medgar

Robert F. Williams
       Pusher Man

Rob Wood

Bob Zellner
       To Vincent and Rosemarie Harding

Freedom School Poems

Poems written by Freedom School students, Mississippi, 1964.
I am Mississippi Fed, Ida Ruth Griffin
The House of Liberty, Joyce Brown
Lonely, Wilma Byas
Fight on Little Children, Edith Moore
Our Largest and Smallest Cities, Nettie Rhodes
Who Am I?, Sandra Jo-Ann 0.
A Leader, Roosevelt Redmond
Isn't It Awful?, Edith Moore
A Negro Condition, Lillie Mae Powell
Why Do They Hate Us? What Has the Negro Done?, Florence Seymour
What Does Freedom Mean? Madeline McHugh
Because I'm Black, Ruth Phillips
I am a Negro, Rosalyn Waterhouse
Three Strikes to Freedom, Mary Zanders
Freedom in Mississippi, David Marsh
Why Did I My Don'ts, Sandra Ann Harris
Segregation Will Not Be Here Long, Allan Goodner
Don't Give A Subject, Shirley Ballard
Once I Wanted to Fill the Earth With Laughter, Lynda
Time, Shirley Ballard
Mr. Turnbow, Lorenzo Wesley
Nov. 22, 1963, Arelya J. Mitchell
Other Children, Airvester Bowman
Roads, Airvester Bowman
Life, People, the Mysteries of Time, Charlie Brown
The Wind, Cora Sanders
Spring, William Smith
Poem, M.C. Perry
Who What Dropped When?
Mine, Alice Jackson
Changing The American Stage, Elnora Fondren
The Voice of Freedom, Robert Lee
Say Freedom!, Mitchell M

About the Movement

Nancy Levi Arnez
       Why Don't You Love Us?
       To Be Black in America
       Keep Pushing
       A Brown Child's Prayer
       Stood Up

June Brindel
       The Road From Selma

Nikki Giovanni
       Rosa Parks

Angela Jackson
       Miz Rosa Rides the Bus

June Jordan
       Jim Crow: The Sequel
       1977: Poem for Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer

Mike Kellin
       Hartman Turnbow

Yusef Komunyakaa
       Knights of the White Camellia & Deacons of Defense

Audre Lorde

Naomi Long Madgett
       Alabama Centennial

Eve Merriam (1916-1992)
Poems About Race & Jim Crow
      Yesterday's Rider
       Jim Crow
       The Liberal Candidate From Middleroad Speaks:
       White Sister
       Money Mississippi (Emmett Till)
       Tuscaloosa Road (Autherine Lucy)
Poems About the Montgomery Bus Boycott
       Bus Boycott
       Montgomery Alabama
       Tomorrow's Footsteps
       Sunrise Morning
       The Elderly Walking Woman

Beatrice M. Murphy (1908-1992)
       To Any Negro Youth
       Pledge of Allegiance
       Even Among Thieves
       We Are Not Alone

Richard C. Raymond
       Dixie Definitions

Dudley Randall (1914-2000)
       Ballad of Birmingham
       Booker T. and W.E.B.

Afaa Michael Weaver
       The Little Rock 9

Jacqueline Woodson
       February 12, 1963

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