May Day in Brooklyn.

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Union Square, New York. May Day. 1938.
I Am the People, the Mob.
-Carl Sandburg
I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.

2 thoughts on “May Day in Brooklyn.

  1. Hi Fred,I enjoy your blog posts very much.  I am currently working as a TA in a middle school in Highland Park in a program serving students with behavioral and emotional difficulties.  Guess what the racial breakdown is? You already know.  My reason for writing is one of the teachers is interested in a comment I made about financial incentives to move students from special ed to mainstream.  Could you send me links to your posts addressing this issue? Thank you for keeping me informed and inspired. Donnie

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