Poet takes off on Freedom Train

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King on his day, observed on Monday, the Wilton Historical Society sent out an interesting email blast featuring Langston Hughes’ poem Freedom Train. Hughes, an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Mo., wrote the verse in 1947.

Hughes “was one of the earliest innovators of the then new literary art form called jazz poetry,” according to the historical society email. Here is a short excerpt:

I read in the papers about the

Freedom Train

I heard on the radio about the

Freedom Train

I seen folks talking about the

Freedom Train

Lord, I’ve been a-waitin’ for the

Freedom Train!

Down South in Dixie the only trains I see’s

Got a Jim-Crow car set aside for me.

I hope there ain’t no Jim Crow on the Freedom Train,

No back door entrance to the Freedom Train,

No signs FOR COLORED on the Freedom Train,

No WHITE FOLKS ONLY on the Freedom Train.

I’m gonna check up on this

Freedom Train.