Dudley Randall


Born in Washington, DC, the son of a minister and a teacher, Randall wrote his first poem when he was four years old, moved to Detroit when he was nine, and saw his poems first published in the Detroit Free Press when he was 13. A bright student, Randall graduated early. After working in Ford’s River Rouge foundry for five years and serving in the South Pacific during World War II, he earned a BA in English from Wayne University (now Wayne State University) and a MA in library science from the University of Michigan. Randall, who became the reference librarian for Wayne County, was fluent in Russian; visited Europe, Africa, and Russia; and later translated many Russian poems into English. Randall died in 2000. The Dudley Randall Poetry Prize is awarded to a University of Detroit Mercy student each year. Source

Booker T. and W.E.B

“It seems to me,” said Booker T.,

“It shows a mighty lot of cheek

To study chemistry and Greek

When Mister Charlie needs a hand

To hoe the cotton on his land,

And when Miss Ann looks for a cook,

Why stick your nose inside a book?”


“I don’t agree,” said W.E.B.,

“If I should have the drive to seek

Knowledge of chemistry or Greek,

I’ll do it. Charles and Miss can look

Another place for hand or cook.

Some men rejoice in skill of hand,

And some in cultivating land,

But there are others who maintain

The right to cultivate the brain.”


“It seems to me,” said Booker T.,

“That all you folks have missed the boat

Who shout about the right to vote,

And spend vain days and sleepless nights

In uproar over civil rights.

Just keep your mouths shut, do not grouse,

But work, and save, and buy a house.”


“I don’t agree,” said W.E.B.,

“For what can property avail

If dignity and justice fail.

Unless you help to make the laws,

They’ll steal your house with trumped-up clause.

A rope’s as tight, a fire as hot,

No matter how much cash you’ve got.

Speak soft, and try your little plan,

But as for me, I’ll be a man.”


“It seems to me,” said Booker T.—

“I don’t agree,”

Said W.E.B.





Literary Movements:

Black Arts Movement

Anthology Years:




Literary Devices:


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie

End Rhyme

when a poem has lines ending with words that sound the same


correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry