2016 black boys Black History Month poetry writer

Langston Hughes

Yay! One of my favorite poets. Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902 and died May 22, 1967. He was a novelist and a social activist too. I discovered Langston Hughes in college. Can you believe it? Way too late.

But, it was in college that I fell in love with the Harlem Renaissance and the words of his poems “The Weary Blues”, “Mother to Son” and of course “Dream Deferred”. If you’ve never heard of Langston Hughes, please check your local library. He’s part of our history. Black History is American History.

Mother To Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor-
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now-
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.


langston hughes


  1. I’d never read this one. It’s beautiful.

    Thinking of your post earlier this week, I asked my son if he’s been learning about Black History Month. He asked excitedly, “Does that mean I get a whole month off from school?” leading us to discuss Langston Hughes for starters. This is the perfect poem to share with him, if/when I can get him to sit still long enough to listen.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of my favorite poets who really inspired me as a poet. Ironically, I’m more inspired by musicians than poets when it comes to my work but Langston is definitely one of my top artists who really moved me when I was reading his work growing up.


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