Songs and Poems by Teddy Edwards
(a question from the American black man to the American white man)
You brought us here aboard your ships
And introduced us to your whips;
You used them well across our hips
And left so many in the dip.
On blocks you put us to be sold;
You kept the young-destroyed the old.
We gave you scientist skills untold;
We gave you poets so brave and bold.
Our language soon you took away
By cutting tongues out day by day;
If to your God I knelt and pray,
And by the rope you took our lives;
You’ve told your children lies and lies
And hurt them much by truths denied.
We nursed your young and cooked your food;
We plowed your land behind your mules;
We try to live by all your rules-
Still you don’t want us in your schools.
We rode the back while on your bus
And worked for you from dawn ‘til dusk;
Would you have done the same for us,
Without ever making a fuss?
We sing and dance to warm your heart
While you still keep us far apart;
We gave you jazz, your only art,
And you’ve condemned it from the start.
We’re “boy” when young-“uncle” when old;
Never a “man” the story goes;
You took our blues, our very soul,
And changed the name to rock and roll…”
In sports, we hold your banner high
While your anthem speaks a lie;
We take your insults with a smile
And hide our feelings deep inside.
Your constitution says we’re free,
But we know better, you and me;
Integration is incomplete
‘Cause you don’t want it obviously
We’ve been with you through thick and thin,
Yet you don’t want to let us in;
With en-e-mies your time you spend
While they just lay to do you in.