Celebrating Black History Month: February 8

8 Feb

Celebrating Langston Hughes

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Harlem Renaissance poet/writer, Langston Hughes. Although Hughes’ sexual orientation has traditionally been downplayed, like James Baldwin, he was black and gay. Hughes was attracted to the ideals of Communism, given the racism/homophobia  in the United States. Though Hughes never officially joined the Communist Party, he was called before Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, led by Joseph McCarthy. I fell in love with Hughes poetry the first time I read Dream Deferred.

Dream Deferred
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Another favorite of mine is Dream Boogie. I hope you will enjoy hearing this reading of Dream Boogie. If you have not been introduced to Langston Hughes, I hope you will find some of his poetry; I can guarantee it will become a part of you.

4 Responses to “Celebrating Black History Month: February 8”

  1. webwordwarrior February 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    The imagery in that poem is so powerful that I respond to it viscerally, no matter how many times I encounter it. It’s a masterwork of concision, too — not a wasted syllable.

  2. combscp February 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    I’ve always loved this poem. 🙂 Thanks for posting it! It was great to stumble upon.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      Cory, I’m so glad you liked it. It is so nice to be cultivating a society of do-gooders. 🙂

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