You say I O.K.ed LONG DISTANCE? O.K.ed it when? My goodness, Central That was then! I'm mad and disgusted With that Negro now. I don't pay no REVERSED CHARGES nohow. You say, I will pay it— Else you'll take out my phone? You better let My phone alone. I didn't ask him To telephone me. Roscoe knows darn well LONG DISTANCE Ain't free. If I ever catch him, Lawd, have pity! Calling me up From Kansas City. Just to say he loves me! I knowed that was so. Why didn't he tell me some'n I don't know? For instance, what can Them other girls do That Alberta K. Johnson Can't do—and more, too? What's that, Central? You say you don't care Nothing about my Private affair? Well, even less about your PHONE BILL, does I care! Un-humm-m! . . . Yes! You say I gave my O.K.? Well, that O.K. you may keep— But I sure ain't gonna pay!
Langston Hughes - 1902-1967
Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too?
Over There, World War II. Dear Fellow Americans, I write this letter Hoping times will be better When this war Is through. I'm a Tan-skinned Yank Driving a tank. I ask, WILL V-DAY BE ME-DAY, TOO? I wear a U. S. uniform. I've done the enemy much harm, I've driven back The Germans and the Japs, From Burma to the Rhine. On every battle line, I've dropped defeat Into the Fascists' laps. I am a Negro American Out to defend my land Army, Navy, Air Corps— I am there. I take munitions through, I fight—or stevedore, too. I face death the same as you do Everywhere. I've seen my buddy lying Where he fell. I've watched him dying I promised him that I would try To make our land a land Where his son could be a man— And there'd be no Jim Crow birds Left in our sky. So this is what I want to know: When we see Victory's glow, Will you still let old Jim Crow Hold me back? When all those foreign folks who've waited— Italians, Chinese, Danes—are liberated. Will I still be ill-fated Because I'm black? Here in my own, my native land, Will the Jim Crow laws still stand? Will Dixie lynch me still When I return? Or will you comrades in arms From the factories and the farms, Have learned what this war Was fought for us to learn? When I take off my uniform, Will I be safe from harm— Or will you do me As the Germans did the Jews? When I've helped this world to save, Shall I still be color's slave? Or will Victory change Your antiquated views? You can't say I didn't fight To smash the Fascists' might. You can't say I wasn't with you in each battle. As a soldier, and a friend. When this war comes to an end, Will you herd me in a Jim Crow car Like cattle? Or will you stand up like a man At home and take your stand For Democracy? That's all I ask of you. When we lay the guns away To celebrate Our Victory Day WILL V-DAY BE ME-DAY, TOO? That's what I want to know. Sincerely, GI Joe.