Blogging Assignment #2: The Hate U Give

“Black, Brown, and White” by Big Bill Broonzy was written as a protest song “which addressed the experiences of black war vets and the painful issue of preferential treatment by gradations of skin color.”

I first heard this song when watching the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript. I chose this song because both the song and the book (also the documentary) discuss/portray/reflect the real situation of black people in America; how they are still experiencing injustice because of their race. It is just like it is said in the song

Your white, your alright

Your brown, stick around

Your black, you stay back

In both the book and the song, you can see/hear how the blacks are mistreated while the whites are “protected” either through the shooting of Khalil(book), the unequal payment(song), unjust society, etc.

Lyrics:

This little song that I’m singin’ about
People you know it’s true
If you’re black and gotta work for a living
This is what they will say to you
They says if you was white, should be all right
If you was brown, stick around
But as you’s black, m-mm brother, git back git back git back

I was in a place one night
They was all having fun
They was all byin’ beer and wine
But they would not sell me none
They said if you was white, should be all right
If you was brown, stick around
But if you black, m-mm brother, git back git back git back

Me and a man was workin’ side by side
This is what it meant
They was paying him a dollar an hour
And they was paying me fifty cent
They said if you was white, ‘t should be all right
If you was brown, could stick around
But as you black, m-mm boy, git back git back git back

I went to an employment office
Got a number ‘n’ I got in line
They called everybody’s number
But they never did call mine
They said if you was white, should be all right
If you was brown, could stick around
But as you black, m-mm brother, git back git back git back

I hope when sweet victory
With my plough and hoe
Now I want you to tell me brother
What you gonna do about the old Jim Crow?
Now if you was white, should be all right
If you was brown, could stick around
But if you black, whoa brother, git back git back git back

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