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A Black Man's Speech to a White Man in America

I'm not as educated, sir, as thee,
But God Almighty's sun I see,
And you may treat me very hard for this,
But I His Holy Hand shall kiss.
I have no nation, none as great as yours
That kills and grabs beyond the shores;
I have no selfish laws to keep men down
And then upon them ever frown.
You have the wealth of land and sea and sky,
You boast as if you'd never die:
How great you are, my mighty earthly king,
So great that I must tribute bring!
But, sir, one day you'll surely be in hell,
And then a story I will tell;
As Dives asked for quenching water then,
So will you all from that hot pen.
Your gilded pride is much in this your day
It's time for you to gather bay
And so you feed upon my sorry life,
And rob me of my home and wife.
My lands you say are yours, and minerals too,
How sweet it is, dear sir, to you!
You kick me down and lash me on my back,
And when I cry there's one more whack.
But one good day will surely come for me,
When God of men will speak to thee,
And then the awful thunder clap will tell,
How far down you will be in Hell.

Written by Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)


Marcus Garvey Poets Page