`Uncle Sam What Will You Do?', The Chicago Defender, Chicago, Illinois, April 12,1919

transcription/facsimile poem


Now the war's over, Uncle, what will you do?

For the brave colored laddies who fought hard for you?

Will they still be abused as they used to be

Ere they joined in the fighting for Liberty?

Will you soon be forgetting the lives they gave

That the Stars and Stripes might proudly wave?

What will you do in Dixie, pray?

With the Jim-Crow cars and the pauper's pay,

With the no-account schools and no-vote towns,

Where poverty reigns and misery frowns.

What will you do with the lynching tree

That hellish thing that shames Dixie?

And a ship sailed out from our sunny port

To that land where cruel battles are bravely fought,

Sailed out to make liberty more secure

For the world, and Justice to long endure.

While here at home, overlooked, ignored.

Is that Southern curse to man and God.

Oh Uncle Sammy clean up your place

For our brothers of the darker Race;

Don't let the South disgrace the Flag;

In the mud of injustice its colors drag;

Make the USA a safer land.

For our Colored soldiers to proudly stand.

And now that they're back as men today,

Don't let one be ashamed to say,

"This is my own land, my native soil;

On it I'll live and for it toil."

Oh Uncle Sam what will you do?

For the Colored Laddies who fought for you?

- Edna Perry Booth