Juke Box Love Song

Langston 1 parks_hughes
Photo by Gordon Parks

Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967)

My old man’s a white old man
And my old mother’s black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I’m sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well
My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder were I’m going to die,
Being neither white nor black?

On the Weary Blues

In The Big Sea Hughes reported that his “Weary Blues,” which won him his first poetry prize, “included the first blues [he’s] ever heard way back in Lawrence, Kansas, when [he] was a kid.”

Watch the Weary Blues (youtube)

Let American be America again

See photos by Roy DeCarava
DE CARAVA, Roy, and HUGHES, Langston, The Sweet Flypaper of Life, Washington, Howard University Press, 1984.

DeCarava DeCarava hallway Hallway
Roy de Carava

DeCarava’s photographs languished in a closet until he took them to Langston Hughes. “I thought Hughes would enjoy them because they were so much about people,” DeCarava told In These Times this February. “He was very touched and moved by the pictures and said, ‘Let me try to get them published.’”
Hughes found Simon and Schuster willing to bring out the book, but only on the condition that Hughes write an accompanying text. DeCarava at that point relinquished control of the project, giving Hughes some 500 photographs from which to make a selection. Of the people he had photographed, DeCarava told Hughes nothing.
The Sweet Flypaper of Life is not, then, a collaboration of writer and photographer, but a writer’s response to photographs

Read Juke Box Love Song

I could take the Harlem night
and wrap around you

-Langston Hughes

  • History

    The past has been a mint
    Of blood and sorrow.
    That must not be
    True of tomorrow

    More Langston’s political poems here

  • Roy DeCarava R.I.P (previous post here).

    Something unrelated:

    Two new art photos by Chagoya cpyramid were added to my previous post “American Psycho”.