Langston Hughes in 1925
Negro
by Langston Hughes
[first published in the January 1922 issue of Crisis]


I am a Negro:
    Black as the night is black,
    Black like the depths of my Africa.

I’ve been a slave:
    Caesar told me to keep his door-steps clean.
    I brushed the boots of Washington.

I’ve been a worker:
    Under my hand the pyramids arose.
    I made mortar for the Woolworth Building.

I’ve been a singer:
    All the way from Africa to Georgia
    I carried my sorrow songs.
    I made ragtime.

I’ve been a victim:
    The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo.
    They lynch me still in Mississippi.

I am a Negro:
    Black as the night is black,
    Black like the depths of my Africa. 


* * *


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

Even more is available in these volumes:


     

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