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Carl Hines Jr. Courtesy Indianapolis Musicians.

Carl Wendell Hines Jr. (born 1940) is an African American poet and teacher.


Hines was born in Wilson, North Carolina in 1940, son of educators Ruth (Johnson) and Carl W. Hines, and grandson of Walter Scott Hines and Sarah Dortch Hines.[1] His mother was an elementary school teacher and his father a math teacher and a self-taught musician. Hines would also become a math teacher and musician.[2]

He attended Charles H. Darden High School in Wilson, where he played the bugle in the high school band. When Hines’s interest focused on jazz music he began to play the piano. He immersed himself in jazz, listening to Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk.[2]

He continued to play throughout his life, but chose to become a teacher. He taught for 35 years in the Indianapolis area before retiring.[2]

He continues to play piano, both solo and with a trio, the Carl Hines Band.[2]


He is best known for his poem A Dead Man's Dream, which begins with the lines:

Now that he is safely dead,
Let us praise him.
Build monuments to his glory.
Sing Hosannas to his name

Hines wrote the poem in 1965 after the assassination of Malcolm X, but it is often associated with the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.[1]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Now That He Is Safely Dead, Black Wide=Awake. Web, July 20, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Carl Hines, The History Makers. Web, June 20, 2020.

External links[]

Original Penny's Poetry Pages article, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0.