Poetry News

Trayvon Martin & 'Kids Who Die,' by Langston Hughes

By Harriet Staff


The City Lights Booksellers and Publishers's blog, Abandon All Despair Ye Who Enter Here, posted Langston Hughes's poem "Kids Who Die" this weekend after news broke about the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman.

We're still thinking about Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman this morning and reading Hughes's poem, with its sadly familiar subject-matter. We'll post the first two stanzas below and let you go to City Lights for the rest, here.

This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.

Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.

Originally Published: July 15th, 2013