Tag Archives: Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes on the Dignity of Work

Langston Hughes understood working men and women as well as anyone, as his poem “Brass Spittoons” demonstrates.

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Believing in the Great White Race

Teaching Langston Hughes’s “Ku Klux” in Ljubljana prompted the students to think of Europes neo-fascists.

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Poems for Resisting Trump

New York columnist Roger Cohen suggests two poems for resisting Trumpism: “if” and “Harlem.”

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Beware of Literature’s Purity Police

Laura Moriarty’s “American Heart” has been attacked for being a white savior narrative. Such stories should in fact be critiqued, but the attackers are often a bigger problem.

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Do You Believe in the Great White Race?

There’s a marked contrast between the nobility people claim for the Confederate statues and the young men swarming around them. Langston Hughes understood the contrast in his darkly humorous “Ku Klux.”

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Hughes Dreams the Real American Dream

Langston Hughes’s “Let America Be America Again” is a powerful riposte to President Steven Bannon and Co.’s “Make America Great Again.” Poems like this one can play an important role in resistance against the Trump administration.

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Read Poetry To Keep Hope Alive

Literature that just shows us the grim truth of reality without the possibility of hope calls into question the whole enterprise. Much great literature frames reality in such a way that we can see new possibilities for ourselves.

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Oppression’s Walls Will Have To Go

Langston Hughes’s poem “I Look at the World” describes a coming to consciousness of the walls that fence us in. Once we acknowledge the walls, we can begin seeing our way through them.

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Black Lives Mattered to Langston Hughes

Following two more shootings of unarmed black men, the New York Times devoted a full page to Langston Hughes’s powerful poem “I, Too.” Meanwhile, his poem “Harlem” provides an explanation for the riots in Charlotte.

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