Langston Hughes in 1925
Aunt Sue’s Stories


Aunt Sue has a head full of stories.
Aunt Sue has a whole heart full of stories.
Summer nights on the front porch
Aunt Sue cuddles a brown-faced child in her bosom
And tells him stories.


Black slaves
Working in the hot sun,
And black slaves
Walking in the dewy night,
And black slaves
Singing sorrow songs on the banks of a mighty river
Mingle themselves softly
In the flow of Aunt Sue’s voice,
Mingle themselves softly
In the dark shadows that cross and recross
Aunt Sue’s stories.


And the dark-faced child, listening,
Knows that Aunt Sue’s stories are real stories.
He knows that Aunt Sue never got her stories
Out of any book at all,
But they came
Right out of her own life.


The dark-faced child is quiet
Of a summer night
Listening to Aunt Sue’s stories. 


[first published in the July 1921 issue of Crisis]



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To find more by Langston Hughes in the Crisis Chronicles Online Library, click here.

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