|Item ID||egyptian 1945 0105 dark a.tif |
|Title||DARK MUSINGS |
|Author||By DOT SYKES |
|Description||A better relationship between Negroes and Whites. |
|Original Publication Source||Daily Egyptian |
|Date||1945 January 5 |
|Digital File Format||.TIF (Tagged Image Format) |
|Digital File Publisher||Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale |
|Rights Statement||All copyrights held by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email: http://reftrack.lib.siu.edu/reft100.aspx?key=SCRCEmail&cllcid=SCRR |
|Collection||Daily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale) |
|Transcript||DARK MUSINGS |
By DOT SYKES
I remember the days when I longed for "someone new to write to", and I can truthfully say that those days for me no longer exist. Every week I receive letters from soldiers, sailors, and marines "over here", and "over there", who happened to read this column in a copy of the Egyptian which was among the newspapers sent to their companies and decided to write to me in care of this city. Frankly speaking, I had no idea that our school paper was read any place except in the state of Illinois. What a pleasant surprise, and speaking of surprises, I've received quite a few.
One was from Cpl. Charles Brown, from Michigan, who is now somewhere in France. His father has his Ph.D. in social studies. Cpl. Brown told me about the paper his father wrote and later put into practice. It was on the Negro, and its aim was to bring about a better relationship between Negroes and Whites. Dr. Brown taught several courses on "The Negro" in the mental, moral, physical, spiritual, social, economic, political, and educational stages. That is what I call "putting forth an effort".
Then, too, there was Pvt. Moses Garrett, who owned a little cafe "back home in Illinois". Oh. I forgot to tell you, —he's in Germany now. Anyway, he told me about an everyday occurrence in his place of business. Each day at least three white children would enter the place and order a hamburger and a coke, or a hot dog and a glass of milk, take seats at the counter or in the booths, and remain until they had finished their meal. Occasionally, they would share the booths with some Negro boy or girl when the place was crowded— without a disturbance, too. Pvt. Garrett told me about the day his little son came home looking quite sad. When lie inquired about the gloomy face, lie discovered that the little fellow had entered a white restaurant, ordered a bowl of chili, only to be turned away in not too pleasant a voice. However, the surprise in this letter oanie when he told me about the delicious dinner he ate inside of a German restaurant—and it was not served in the kitchen!
I could o on for quite a while, but not today. I was reading a poem, composed by the famous poet, Langston Hughes, which appeared in the Chicago Defender in letter form, which turned out to be an excellent summary of what many Negro soldiers have said in their letters. This poem is from a Negro fighting man to America, and because I thought it was a good summary, I am passing it on to you:
WILL V-DAY BE ME-DAY, TOO?"
World War II.
"Dear Fellow Americans:
I write this letter
Hoping times will be better
WThen this rar is through.
I'm a tan-skinned Yank,
Driving a tank.
I ask, Will V-DAY BE ME-DAY, TOO?
"I wear a U. S. uniform,
I've done time enemy much harm.
I've driven back
The Germans and the.Japs.
From Burma to the Rhine,
On every battle line,
I've dropped defeat
Into the Fascists' laps.
"I am a Negro American
Out to defend my land
Army, Navy, Air Corps—
I am there.
I take munitions through,
I fight—or stevedore, too.
I face death the same as you do
"I've seen amy buddy lying
Where he fell.
I've watched him dying,
I promised him that I would try
To make our land a land
Where his son could be a man-
And there'd be no Jim Crow birds
Left in our sky.