“You say that you believe in Democracy for everybody,
Yes, I know, for dogs and cats and others and everybody,
Everybody, but me.
In high sounding words and musty oratory, on Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday.
You government officials, major and minor, effuse bright praise to our country and all of her glory.
How it was founded and will always be a haven of the free and I sitting
up there listening to you applauded and cheered with all the rest.
But I was one mighty surprised soul to see when it came to the test that you did men everybody, Everybody, but me.
Sure, I read all about it in the history books about how the founding
fathers got together and wrote the Declaration of Independence cause
they didn’t want King George stepping on them and even though I play a
part in bringing it about – they left me out.
They declared that Independence for everybody, Everybody, but me.
They also got together and wrote a Constitution and a Bill of Rights
saying that everybody had certain rights and privileges being citizens
and that everybody ought to have a job and a place to live and equal
But when I tried to get my rights and privileges
and a job and a house, I was mighty sorry to find that they really did
mean everybody, Everybody, but me.
I went to church every
Sunday being a pious person and I heard the preacher talking about
heaven and eating milk and honey and wearing long white robes and I felt
the spirit and shouted out, shouted out that I wanted to be in the
Suddenly I looked up at he wall, saw that all the
folks gathered around Jesus had straw blond hair and sky blue eyes and
there wasn’t a brother among them, I know again that did mean
everybody, Everybody but me.
Of course as far back as I hear
tell about there have been times when they needed help out, this is when
they had a war and then they sent out a call for everybody, they knew
what to use me for and I found that they really did mean everybody,
My father told me that in World War I they sent
out a call for everyone including me and we had to go over to fight
Kaiser to keep the world free and safe for Democracy for everybody.
When I got home I was hurt to find that they really did mean everybody, Everybody, but me.
Well putting two and two together you and I can plainly see that those
folks down in Washington have never been thinking of you and me, from
here on I’m going to be thinking about me. I am going to get together
with you and my sisters and brothers black and white all over the
country and over the world and we’re going to put up a terrific fight
until we win and we will and when we say peace and freedom for everybody
it will mean Everybody, everywhere.