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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

BHM: Langston Hughes

Today marks the first day of Black History Month. Did you know that February 1st is James Langston Hughes birthday? He would be 110 years old. He died on May 22, 1967 of prostate cancer complications in New York. His residence at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem,  has been given landmark status by the New York City Preservation Commission, and East 127th Street has been renamed "Langston Hughes Place." He was a poet, social activist, playwright, columnist, and novelist.

[excerpt of Let America be America Again - James Langston Hughes]

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

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