Open Letter to the South - Langston Hughes

White workers of the South

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Open Letter to the South - Langston Hughes 「Song Lyrics」

White workers of the South
        Mill Hands,
        Shop girls,
        Railway men,
        Tobacco workers,
I am the black worker,

That the land might be ours,
And the mines and the factories and the office towers
At Harlan, Richmond, Gastonia, Atlanta, New Orleans;
That the plants and the roads and the tools of power
Be ours:

Let us forget what Booker T. said,
"Separate as the fingers."

Let us become instead, you and I,
One single hand
That can united rise
To smash the old dead dogmas of the past--
To kill the lies of color

That keep the rich enthroned
And drive us to the time-clock and the plow
Helpless, stupid, scattered, and alone--as now--
Race against race,
Because one is black,
Another white of face.

Let us new lessons learn,
All workers,
New life-ways make,
One union form:
Until the future burns out
Every past mistake
Let us together, say:

"You are my brother, black or white,
You my sister--now--today!"
For me, no more, the great migration to the North.
Instead: migration into force and power--
Tuskegee with a new flag on the tower!
on every lynching tree, a poster crying FREE
Because, O poor white workers,
You have linked your hands with me.

We did not know that we were brothers.
Now we know!
out of that brotherhood
Let power grow!
We did not know

That we were strong.
Now we see
In union lies our strength.
Let unions be
The force that breaks the time-clock,
Smashes misery,
Takes land,
Takes factories,
Takes office towers,
Takes tools and banks and mines.
Railroads, ships and dams,
Until the forces of the world
Are ours!

White worker,
Here is my hand.
We're Man to Man.

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