Video My People June 12, 2022 / A tribute to Langston Hughes (1901-1967) The Poet of Harlem Renaissance
After centuries of brutal exploitation through abduction and enslavement, the Black is Beautiful movement was born and within it was the aspiration for an equal perception of the black body to help undo all the negative ideas brought about by a history based in white supremacy. The phrase “black is beautiful” called for an appreciation for a rich black culture and identity connected to African heritage. Langston Hughes celebrates the beauty of his people as opposed to the low self esteem North American racist culture had instilled in African Americans since the abolishment of slavery. What comes to mind is a psychological experiment conducted in the early 1960s whereby young black school girls were asked to choose a doll from the black and white dolls displayed on a table. Each and every one of the girls chose a white blonde blue eyed doll. This experiment spoke volumes as to the damage done to the Black psyche at even such a tender age by a society rotten at its foundation with the stench of bigotry towards African Americans at every level.
Again, this poem celebrating the beauty of the Black people is just as important and relevant today as it was when it was written more than half a century ago.
Thank you for your insightful comment. You are absolutely right.