Langston Hughes – Theme for English B

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The instructor said

Go home and write
A page tonight

And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.


I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
To this college on the hill above Harlem
I am the only colored student in my class
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem

Through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y
The Harlem Branch Y,
where I take the elevator
Up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
At twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
Hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life
I like a pipe for a Christmas present
Or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
The same things other folks like who are other races

So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white
But it will be
A part of you, instructor
You are white--
Yet a part of me, as I am a part of you
That's American

Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me
Nor do I often want to be a part of you
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you
I guess you learn from me--
Although you're older--and white--
And somewhat more free

This is my page for English B

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