Untitled (1926) by Langston Hughes

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“Looking Black and Being Black is as different as fog and rain.” — Keisha Brown

In the Western tradition, the gamut of political thought ranges from the so-called “Extreme-Left” to the so-called “Extreme-Right” and within the range it is falsely reasoned that all ideologies must fit. The “Left” touts itself as progressive, the “Right,” traditional; and as Africans lose themselves in the Western experiment they find themselves clinging to the “Left” convinced that the traditions of the West are against them yet unconvinced that Western progress is also against them.

From this backdrop enters Langston Hughes and “The Nation.” It is said “The Nation” is the longest running weekly magazine in America (1865-) and a successor to William Loyd Garrison’s “Liberator.” On June 23, 1926 Langston Hughes published the following poem in “The Nation” and in it’s “Leftist” paradigm.

The Western range of political thought, as adopted by Africans, will have Africans thinking against themselves. One can not “think Black” and “think White” simultaneously. The following poem by Langston Hughes seems impressive. Yet, when one understands Western Thought (coined “Occidentalism“) one will see Langston Hughes speaks from a perspective of perennial and hopeless domination. In other words, if one reads Langston Hughes’ poem as if a pet dog wrote it (replacing ‘black’ with ‘dog’ and ‘white’ with ‘master’), one could hardly gather that the dog were serious about freedom, yet one would reason the dog sought pity.

Untitled (1926)
By Langston Hughes

We, the creators of the new black generation,
want to express our black personality
without shame or fear
If this will please the whites, much the better
If not, it does not matter
We know ourselves to be beautiful
And also ugly
The drums cry
The drums laugh
If this will please the whites, much the better
If not, it does not matter
It is for tomorrow that we are building our temples
Solid temples as we will ourselves know how to
construct them.
And we will keep ourselves straight
On top of the mountain
Free in ourselves.

2 thoughts on “Untitled (1926) by Langston Hughes

  1. Gwiz. funny thing is when I listen to radio personalities, I tend to think that they want to get popular off recording the oppression rather than responding to it.

    that said, even if miles better than what I typically hear on ear, this 3 hour special also seems to do just that; make a reporter famous rather than make horror historical

    (Apart from the same old feel, it seems a decent series but then agan…so what?)

    https://www.prx.org/pieces/117278

    1. Peace King,

      As a historical document it’s enlightening. Yet as you say, so what? As I commented on your site, the radio program can come from them or come from us; but what comes from them will empower them or disempower us. CBS produced this piece. We can do the math.

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