Black poets give me life

Poets are not only writers, they’re healers, truth seekers and even historians. Whenever I want to escape from this crazy world, I read a poem. If I’m curious about how blacks of previous generations coped with things like stress, heartbreak and racism, I read a poem. If I want to smile and celebrate black beauty, I read a poem.

No matter the occasion, I always find the time to read a poem by influential black poets, such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Amiri Baraka. There are too many inspiring poets to mention, so I’ll take the time now to salute them all for their bravery to write what others are afraid to speak.

Poems are gateways to the minds of the people. Sometimes poems reveal the answers to the questions we’re seeking.

Today I want to share with you one of my favorite poems:

Question and Answer

Durban, Birmingham,
Cape Town, Alabama,
Johannesburg, Watts,
The earth around
Struggling, fighting,
Dying–for what?

A world to gain.

Groping, hoping,
Waiting–for what?

A world to gain.

Dreams kicked asunder,
Why not go under?

There’s a world to gain.

But suppose I don’t want it,
Why take it?

To remake it.

― Langston Hughes, The Panther and the Lash

How do you interpret this poem?

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