Luther Jackson Green Lived in the apartment above me We smoked cigarettes on the stairs Tell me stories that white boys never hear
Like when he found this shine He moved north in nineteen forty-nine On his tenth birthday daddy took him to town To see the Jackie Robinson play.
It was a picture perfect day In the sunshine and the hate He didn't understand why all those People would say such awful things.
His daddy said pay no attention to them Turnaround and watch the man play
The one black man in the baseball field Was better in every way My daddy said if you wanna win in this world You gotta beat 'em the their own game.
Luther Jackson Green Went to law school in nineteen sixty-three In the summer between he worked in Alabama With Martin Luther King
He met a girl on a summer night He fell hard when they saw each other's eyes There were people in town that really didn't Like that he was black and she was white
They found her in the ditch A little outside of town Some stupid man was blastin' about it So Luther beat him down
He looked him in the eye, spit in his face and He turned and walked away. He knew he was better than all the hate He knew he was bigger than all the pain He knew there's a time to fight and a time to walk away He knew until he changed the rules Ooh yeah they beat 'em at their own game.
He never did lose that feeling inside You could hear it in his voice You could see it in his eyes
Luther moved out West to live When his wife passed away He lives right next door to his son So he can watch his grandchild play.
Luther Jackson Green Watched election night with me. We put a black man in the White House A thing he never thought he'd see.
Even though he never cried I could see tears in his eyes He had dreamed about this moment Every single day of his life.
Yeah Luther died that night in his sleep But he lived long enough to see, America become the kind of place He always wanted it to be.
He said you could never forget the day That we beat 'em at their own game!
Yeah just like Jackie Robinson (just like Jackie Robinson) Gotta be bigger than all the hate (just like Jackie Robinson) Gotta be better than all the pain (just like Jackie Robinson) Gotta find a better way (just like Jackie Robinson)
Gotta beat 'em at their own game (just like Jackie Robinson) Gotta beat 'em at their own game (just like Jackie Robinson) Gotta beat 'em at their own game (just like Jackie Robinson) (Just like Jackie Robinson)