Return to Buffalo


Return to Buffalo (Long after World War II)


Beatrice Lumpkin grew up in the East Bronx where she joined the Young Communist League during the Great Depression. She was active in the National Student League, the Unemployed Councils, and the fight to free Angelo Herndon and the Scottsboro Nine. In 1937, she helped organize 30,000 laundry workers in New York City. During World War II, Beatrice moved to Buffalo, NY, worked in war factories, and married steelworker Frank Lumpkin. Hattie Lumpkin, Beatrice's mother-in-law, was the Communist Party leader in Ellicott, an African American neighborhood of Buffalo. Frank and Beatrice moved to Chicago and also lived in Gary, Indiana. The steelworker's struggle that Frank Lumpkin led, after the closing of his mill, is recorded in her book, "Always Bring A Crowd," the story of Frank Lumpkin, Steelworker, available from International Publishers.

Return to Buffalo

(Long after World War II)

Buffalo's all torn
Where my kids were born
Visit friends once more
We helped win the war,

But few could be seen
Ellicott's turned green
Bay's house stands alone
All's stripped to the bone.

Department Stores gone,
Broadway stands forlorn.
Like Gary's Broadway
That went the same way.

I'm feeling so sad
Things here are so bad
I do need to cry
But my eyes are dry.

What is it went wrong?
We worked hard and long.
Thought kids would have more
When we won the war

Loved the Broadway crowds
We stood strong and proud
Win the War meant You
And Main Street thrived too.

Smoke and grime? Ignore.
Work hard. Win the War
Do Overtime? Sure!
To win, we'll endure

Then the war was won
Chicago said, "Come!"
Another steel town
Jobs still were around

The years went by fast
Steel jobs did not last
And the rich took all
Put us in free fall

Chicago steel's dead
Fight for life's ahead
We suffer in the hood
LaSalle Street lives good.

Mother Jones was wise
Don't mourn. Organize!
Wisconsin brought hopes.
Our kids are no dopes.

They said, Occupy!
Yes! Yes! Our reply.
London, Tokyo,
We won, Ohio!

Let's pass the Jobs Bill
Fight! Win! Yes we will!
Mother Jones was wise
Don't mourn. Organize!




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