This was written many years ago when there was a stream of consciousness movie called “I am Curious, Yellow”. Since I have always been concerned about prejudice of any kind, this period of time during the late sixties and early seventies was a defining moment in my life.
I wrote this after a trying yet rewarding evening of being attacked verbally by friends and family whom I loved and admired because I did indeed “take my children across town to integrate” and for my being committed to all people having pride by teaching in a ghetto school.
Show me the truth, the way, and the light, Oh Lord (the bright, white light, that’s right, oh Lord.)
Go light on the truth, though, ’cause I’m on top, and I’d just as soon that not go ker-plop!
She reads too much – she really likes the black and poor. If they spoke to me I’d slam the door. Anyone knows they wouldn’t get hungry if they tried.
Because I worked hard for what I got. (You say someone hired you?)
No one ever helped me! (Who was that black lady who sat with you when you had the fever?)
Yes, I was always willing to work for a living. (You say you knew how?)
And I was clean-cut and got an education. (You have any hungry kids and sick parents to support while gettin’ it?)
I came from good stock, and I pulled myself up. (Did anyone ever tell your child not to use the john yet say baboon when he wet his pants?)
Why do they drive big cars anyway? Out of pride? (But your LTD’s an economy style – it doesn’t even have fleece on top!)
I had to learn how to get along with others. (Have you ever bathed in bleach? Some blacks say it smarts. . . )
Some are accused of taking their kids to the wrong side of the tracks to integrate; yet some send them to church to memorize “God is Love” yet hate they perpetuate.
And we all dispersed into the night, into the c r i s p b l a c k n i g h t.
But there was the bright white light, for lest they walk in the valley of the shadow of reality and acceptance they will fear no truth because Thou art with us, Oh Lord, but your picture on some walls is white . . .
Mama, I’m hungry. (Shh, go to sleep, child!)
Mama, what does n_____ mean?
a n d s o m e h o w t h e y a l l s l e e p a t n i g h t!
Copyright by Hildra Tague. Contact the author for print or online republication.