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Evolution (And Flashback)

Gil Scott-Heron


We'd like to do a thing that was written down on this sheet of paper
That I didn't go in to
It's called "Evolution"
And in the middle of it, in this poem called "Evolution"
We're going to interject something called "Flashback"

Yeah
In 1600 I was a darkie
Until 1865 a slave
In 1900 I was a nigger
Or at least that was my name
In 1960 I was a negro
And then brother Malcolm came along
And then some nigger shot Malcolm down
But the bitter truth lives on

Martin is dead
With Martin as our leader
We prayed and marched
And marched and prayed
Things were changing
Things were getting better
But things were not together

With Malcolm as our leader
We learned and thought
And thought we had learned
Things were better
Things were changing
But things were not together

And now it is your turn
We're tired of praying and marching and thinking and learning
Brothers wanna start cutting and shooting and stealing and burning
You are 300 years ahead in equality
But next summer may be to late to look back

In 1600 I was a darkie
And until 1865 a slave
In 1900 I was a nigger
Or at least that was my name
In 1960 I was a negro
And then Malcolm came along
Yes, but some nigger shot Malcolm down
Though the bitter truth lives on
Well now I am a black man
And though I still go second-class
Whereas once I wanted the white man's love
Now he can kiss my ass

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