In the past, Black History Month for me has been focused on some of the big names of accomplished Black people, namely in the U.S. I’ve learned, rather superficially, about the lives and contributions of people whose heritage I share. Our cultures are entwined in one way or another, yet I knew very few great poets, writers, film directors, actors and actresses, singers, musicians, scientists, and artists who share my hue. I am still learning, which is why I’ve decided to dedicate each day to highlighting a piece of work that a Black person has contributed to the patchwork of this world. Since his birthday would’ve been yesterday (Feb. 1), it was fitting that this poet should begin the Black History series first – Mr. Langston Hughes, 1902-1967.
He stands out to me as an insightful trailblazer during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s and 30’s. His writing is altogether symbolic and relevant to the times in which we live today. I want to shout from the rooftops that instead of making America great again, let America be America again!
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain.
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above
The full poem was formerly found on poets.org. You can access it by clicking the link above.