Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Langston Hughes’ 113th birthday and his poem I Dream a World. It also marks the beginning of Black History Month 2015.
Hughes was a key player in the Harlem Renaissance and became well-known after its zenith as a poet, civil rights activist, novelist, playwright, and journalist. He traveled throughout the world as an ambassador for black causes, having built himself from humble beginnings on the Midwest plains. With all his writings, Hughes hoped to unite black culture.
Here are some of his poems:
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.
Freedom Is a strong seed
Planted In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.
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?
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 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.