Cultural Exchange

Submitted by Matthew on 25 October, 2013 - 6:23

An extract from “Cultural Exchange”, by Langston Hughes, from Ask Your Mama (1961).

Dreams and nightmares!

Nightmares, dreams, oh!

Dreaming that the Negroes

Of the South have taken over—

Voted all the Dixiecrats

Right out of power—


Martin Luther King is Governor of Georgia,

Dr. Rufus Clement his Chief Adviser,

A. Philip Randolph the High Grand Worthy.

In white pillared mansions

Sitting on their wide verandas,

Wealthy Negroes have white servants,

White sharecroppers work the black plantations,

And colored children have white mammies:

Mammy Faubus

Mammy Eastland

Mammy Wallace

Dear, dear darling old white mammies--

Sometimes even buried with our family.

Dear old

Mammy Faubus!

Culture, they say, is a two-way street:

Hand me my mint julep, mammy.

Hurry up!

Make haste!

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