Colored Folks?

When I born, I black,
When I grow up, I black,
When I go in sun, I black,
When I cold, I black,
When I scared, I black,
When I sick, I black,
And when I die, I still black.

You white folks….
When you born, you pink,
When you grow up, you white,
When you go in sun, you red,
When you cold, you blue,
When you scared, you yellow,
When you sick, you green,
When you bruised, you purple,
And when you die, you gray!
So who you calling colored?

(unknown author)

13 Replies to “Colored Folks?”

  1. when you can’t get job……….it’s cause you black
    when you drive with seat all the way back………you black
    when you talk out loud at movie theater ………….you black
    when you kill another person…..you (and) them is black
    when latino’s outnumber you in usa soon…..you fucked!

  2. I’m disappointed in the 2 weak responses, because the poem itself is good. I guess because in the spectrum of color black is the equivalent of all color combined and white is the absence of color.

    Black and White, dark to light, eyes of coal to sky blue.
    Hair of wool tightly woven curls, hair of twine straight coarse and fine.
    Skin soft flawless and perfect, tones of red, gold and yellow.
    Features distinct to defined, sharp and prominent, proud and beautiful.
    In my blood flows the purity of the motherland, thru generations my color has changed but my blood has not. I am shades of black and I come in all colors including white.
    I am African, American and European.
    I am all these and more for I am the world. But it is my blackness that comforts me, gives me love, strength, compassion and tenderness, understanding and preservation.
    I am recognized by my own, I am shades of black.

  3. IF Black were the absence of color, there would be no color . . . it would be unseen therefore, colorless. But Black is a color dominating any color it comes in contact with. White is also a color it is light, black is dark. This was learned in kindergarten.

  4. Kinder, Nihat, VSC, Black PIGMENT is the mix of all color PIGMENTS. Black ‘LIGHT’ is the absense of all colors of LIGHT. Black is the absense of color, because it is the absense of light, which appears as black (turn off the lights at night, and you’ll see). Pigments absorb all light other than the color they reflect, therefore, when all color pigments are combined, there is no light reflected. White, on the other hand, reflects all colors of light, therefore, it is not a pigment. Black is technically the absense of color, as it is what we see when there is no light, which is what color is.

  5. I remember learning about this poem in English class in high school. I found it very witty and ironic, as I’m sure it was meant to be, and carried it around for at least a week to show my family and people at my church, all who seemed to enjoy it as well. From my understanding, it was written by a black man either during the time of slavery or at least during a time of segregation. I’m glad it was recorded and has survived this long.

  6. Just a thank you for having this up. I remembered having read it years ago and wanted to share it with my online friends. The ironic truth in this piece continues to stand the test of time.

  7. I too was fired from my family-owned business. My father, a colored sympathizer, was not amused and missed the entire point. Poems like this should not be censored. I recall a certain movement that was high on censorship, they were know to most as Nazis.

  8. Don’t stop jigga jigga..
    The white man calls me nigga..
    I’s don’t care cuz I rents to own..
    Even tho I don’t own mys home..
    I gots a pimp ride..sittin sideways..
    Smokes my blunts in a cloud of hayes..
    Move into your white hood..
    Ya’ll pack up and moves for good..
    Why ya’lls fear the colored man..
    Lay ou in the sun whitey and gets yo tan..
    Kill the white man…C-I-L-L tha white man.