Somebody Told a Lie One Day

The MLK That’s Never Quoted

I come here tonight to plead with ‘ya
Believe in yourself
And believe that you’re somebody
I said to a group last night
Nobody else can do this for us
No document can do this for us
No Lincolnian Emancipation Proclamation can do this for us
No Kennesonian or Johnsonian Civil Rights bill can do this for us
If the Negro is to be free
He must move down into the inner resources of his own soul
And sign with a pen and ink of self-asserted manhood
His own emancipation proclamation

Don’t let anybody take your manhood
Be proud of our heritage
As somebody said earlier tonight
We don’t have anything to be ashamed of
Somebody told a lie one day
They couched it in language
They made everything black ugly and evil
Look in your dictionary and see the synonyms
For the word “black”
It’s always something degrading and low and sinister
Look at the word “white”
It’s always something pure, high, clean (?)
Well I wanna get the language right tonight

I wanna get the language so right that everybody
Here will cry out
“Yes I’m black
I’m proud of it
I’m black and beautiful”

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