“I often wonder why my teachers didn’t share this side of Hughes.”

Renée Watson, founder of the I, Too Arts Collective, “a non-profit organization committed to nurturing voices from underrepresented communities in the creative arts” that’s situated in Langston Hughes’ brownstone in Harlem, asks us to

Remember Langston Hughes’s Anger Alongside His Joy – Renée Watson – New York Times – February 1, 2018

“Hughes declared he, too, was America but also wrote, ‘America was never America to me.’ He loved and critiqued his country, his people.

“I often wonder why my teachers didn’t share this side of Hughes. Why were they so comfortable with black struggle but not our rage? Hughes’s words were not just dirge nor were they only jubilee. They were protest, too.

“Hughes’s words were — and are — sanctuary. The kind I grew up in: loud, comforting, affirming, challenging, political.”

THE BLACK MAN SPEAKS

Langston Hughes

I swear to the Lord

I still can’t see

Why democracy means

Everybody but me.

Read rest of poem 

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