The Family Meeting hopes that you enjoyed this rendition of “Mother To Son” by Langston Hughes.
Langston Hughes has long been one of my favorite poets. His literary prowess and productivity lasted for approximately 50 years. He was a pioneering Black writer because of his efforts to make his writing profitable and productive, a feat that was extremely difficult for an African-American writer of his time period.
Hughes is noted for the variety of his literary output, writing in every genre with the possible exception of literary criticism. He wrote poetry, drama, and fiction, while traveling extensively on the literary lecture circuit. His 2 autobiographies, The Big Sea (1940) and I Wonder as I Wander (1956), are his written record of his constant movement and activity. His exploration of the urban experience through the lens of Harlem was one of vast observation and emotion. His works describe everything from racial confrontation and issues to the solitude and worship of the Sunday morning Black church in Harlem. Although he travelled extensively, Harlem remained his spiritual and emotional dwelling place.
Born in Joplin, Missouri, Hughes’ youth was spent throughout the midwest. He lived in Detroit and Cleveland, where he finished high school and actually began to write poetry. One of Hughes most prolific characters was Jesse B. Semple, who eventually became known as “Simple.” Simple was Black America’s new spokesman, a complexed configuration of innocence, cynicism, urban humor, and simplicity, to name a few of his qualities. Simple has been referred to as the Black Everyman, whose feet hurt, verbs and subjects rarely agreed, but whose racial perceptions reflected great wisdom and depth of insight.
The anecdotes and stories of Simple are 4 volumes all worth reading.
Read, learn, and share…Have a Family Meeting!
The contents of this post were largely researched and extracted from Black Writers of America, A Comprehensive Anthology, Barksdale and Kinnamon, The Macmillan Company, 1972.