Negro

By Langston Hughes

I am a Negro:
        Black as the night is black,
        Black like the depths of my Africa.

I’ve been a slave:
        Caesar told me to keep his door-steps clean.
        I brushed the boots of Washington.

I’ve been a worker:
        Under my hand the pyramids arose.
        I made mortar for the Woolworth Building.

I’ve been a singer:
        All the way from Africa to Georgia
        I carried my sorrow songs.
        I made ragtime.

I’ve been a victim:
        The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo.
        They lynch me still in Mississippi.

I am a Negro:
        Black as the night is black,
        Black like the depths of my Africa.

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