What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry uplike a raisin in the sun?Or fester like a soreAnd then run?Does it stink like rotten meat?Or crust and sugar overlike a syrupy sweet?Maybe it just sagslike a heavy lead. Or does it explode?
Listen, Christ,You did alright in your day, I reckonBut that days gone now. They ghosted you up a swell story, too,Called it BibleBut its dead now. The popes and the preachersveMade too much money from it. Theyve sold you too manyKings, generals, robbers, and killersEven to the Czar and the Cossacks,Even to Rockefellers church,Even to THE SATURDAY EVENING POST. You aint no good no more. Theyve pawned youTill youve done wore out. Goodbye,Christ Jesus Lord God Jehova,Beat it on away from here now. Make way for a new guy with no religion at allA real guy namedMarx Communist Lenin Peasant Stalin Worker MEI said, ME!Go Ahead on now,Youre getting in the way of things, Lord. And please take Saint Ghandi sic with you when you go,And Saint Pope Pius,And Saint Aimee McPherson,And big black Saint BectonOf the Consecrated Dime. And step on the gas, Christ!Move!Dont be so slow about movin!The world is mine from now onAnd nobodys gonna sell METo a king, or a general,Or a millionaire.
I did not believe political directives could be successfully applied to creative writing . . . not to poetry or fiction, which to be valid had to express as truthfully as possible the individual emotions and reactions of the writer.
We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.
Well, Son, I tell you, life for me aint been no crystal stair. Its been hard and bare and rough places on the floor, But all the while I'se been climbing, and going forth In the dark, cause there ain't been no light. So dont you sit down cause its kinds hard, Dont you quit because its rough Cause you see, I'se still climbing And life for me aint been no crystal stair.