Langston Hughes quotes

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Langston Hughes

Birthdate: 1. February 1902
Date of death: 22. May 1967
Other names: لنقستون هیوز, James Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri.

He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. He famously wrote about the period that "the negro was in vogue", which was later paraphrased as "when Harlem was in vogue".

Works

The Weary Blues
The Weary Blues
Langston Hughes

„Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.“

—  Langston Hughes

"Dreams," from the anthology Golden Slippers: An Anthology of Negro Poetry for Young Readers, ed. Arna Bontemps (1941)

„Humor is laughing at what you haven't got when you ought to have it.“

—  Langston Hughes

"A Note on Humor", from The Book of Negro Humor https://books.google.com/books?id=60FkAAAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=%22Humor+is+laughing+at+what+you+haven%27t+got+when+you+ought+to+have+it.%22, p. vii (1966)

„The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!“

—  Langston Hughes

Let America Be America Again (1935)
Context: Sure, call me any ugly name you choose —
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

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„What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?“

—  Langston Hughes

"Harlem"
Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951)
Context: 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?

„You are white —
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.“

—  Langston Hughes

"Theme from English B"
Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951)
Context: You are white —
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That’s American.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me —
although you’re older — and white —
and somewhat more free.

„I stay cool, and dig all jive,
That's the way I stay alive.
My motto,
as I live and learn,
is
Dig and be dug
In return.“

—  Langston Hughes

"Motto"
Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951)
Variant: My motto,
As I live and learn,
is:
Dig And Be Dug
In Return.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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