Category Langston Hughes

You and your whole race

You and your whole race. Look down upon the town in which you live And be ashamed. Look down upon white folks And upon yourselves And be ashamed That such supine poverty exists there, That such stupid ignorance breeds children…

Thanksgiving Time

When the night winds whistle through the trees and blow the crisp brown leaves a-crackling down, When the autumn moon is big and yellow-orange and round, When old Jack Frost is sparkling on the ground, It’s Thanksgiving Time! When the…

The City

In the morning the city Spreads its wings Making a song In stone that sings. In the evening the city Goes to bed Hanging lights Above its head.


Negroes, Sweet and docile, Meek, humble and kind: Beware the day They change their mind! Wind In the cotton fields, Gentle Breeze: Beware the hour It uproots trees!

To Certain

You sicken me with lies, With truthful lies. And with your pious faces. And your wide, out-stretched, mock-welcome, Christian hands. While underneath Is dirt and ugliness, And rotting hearts, And wild hyenas howling In you soul’s wasteland.

Madam And The Census Man

The census man, The day he came round, Wanted my name To put it down. I said, Johnson, Alberta K. But he hated to write The K that way. He said, What Does K stand for? I said, K— And…


From Christ to Ghandi Appears this truth— St. Francis of Assisi Proves it, too: Goodness becomes grandeur Surpassing might of kings. Halos of kindness Brighter shine Than crowns of gold, And brighter Than rich diamonds Sparkles The simple dew Of…

Trumpet Player

The Negro With the trumpet at his lips Has dark moons of weariness Beneath his eyes where the smoldering memory of slave ships Blazed to the crack of whips about thighs The negro with the trumpet at his lips has…


I sat there singing her Songs in the dark. She said; ‘I do not understand The words’. I said; ‘There are No words’.

From Selma

In places like Selma, Alabama, Kids say, In places like Chicago and New York… In places like Chicago and New York Kids say, In places like London and Paris… In places like London and Paris Kids say, In places like…