Black History Month – Day 22

Langston Hughes – Harlem Renaissance poet

I love the poetry of Langston Hughes because it really speaks to me as a mixed race person in America and definitely as a transracial adoptee.  The poem, As I Grow Older personifies what it feels like to be raised in a white world,socialized as a white person and told that the “world is your oyster if you work hard” but then “become Black” as an adult.  The wall that slowly rises and blocks out your dream is very real.  And this blog here is me breaking through the wall and reclaiming my dream so that it doesn’t dry up but does explode out into the world in hopes of helping those who come after me.  Just like Langston Hughes did for me with his poetry.

To read more about Langston Hughes and his life :

A Dream Deferred

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?

As I Grow Older

It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.

But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
The wall.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

About sjwoods318

Mother of six children - five girls and one boy; wife; community organizer, family chauffeur, philosopher, trans-racial adoptee, Deadhead, person of mixed racial heritage, artist, poet, writer who loves to swim, read, and run around with my family.
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