Ballad of Vertical Integration

Students and scholars can access articles for free via Project Muse.

Ballad of Vertical Integration

by Lee Ann Brown
Southern Cultures, Vol. 11, No. 2: Summer 2005

"For each and every one of us, a rainbow is the prize."

Civil Rights was brewing in a Charlotte coffee shop,
At an orange juice bar called Tanner’s
down near the main bus stop.
Cross of Trade & Tyron where the Cherokee once hunt,
Harry Golden cast his shining eye on a way to make his point.

In a country of strangers from either side of town,
There were only certain places everybody could sit down.
Here black & whiteboth alikestood UP and drank their juice.
“Eureka” Harry Golden cried “That’s the way to call the truce!”

Take out all the CHAIRS from restaurants, cars & schools
Get rid all the benchesMake way for other rules.
If some folks can’t sit down somewhere then everybody STAND
We’ll learn & eat VERTICALINTEGRATION in this land!

He printed up his paperThe Carolina Israelite.
Only in America he then went on to write.
Gold dust shines in red clayWe pass on from the past.
Harry, thanks for tickling our funny bones to help the changes last.

Now it’s year 2003just look around you how
Things aren’t quite as far along as they out to be somehow.
This ballad is a call to arms to open up our eyes:
Each and every one of us, Golden can arise.

For each and every one of us, a rainbow is the prize.