Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

You and your whole race - Poem by Langston Hughes

You and your whole race.
Look down upon the town in which you live
And be ashamed.
Look down upon white folks
And upon yourselves
And be ashamed
That such supine poverty exists there,
That such stupid ignorance breeds children there
Behind such humble shelters of despair—
That you yourselves have not the sense to care
Nor the manhood to stand up and say
I dare you to come one step nearer, evil world,
With your hands of greed seeking to touch my throat,
I dare you to come one step nearer me:
When you can say that
you will be free!

Topic(s) of this poem: race

Comments about You and your whole race by Langston Hughes

  • (4/2/2018 11:17:00 AM)

    I always loved how, when reading his poems, Hughes made me feel like he was talking directly to me. I read this poem as a child and felt very stirred by it. I'm a middle-class white woman, and I still felt like this was pointed at me, both accusing me of my faults and encouraging me to be better. I love Langston Hughes. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Kevin Taylor (3/7/2018 10:14:00 PM)

    Every soul can see from here. You'd hope. (Report) Reply

  • (3/4/2018 12:14:00 PM)

    2018, racism alive and well. Shameful. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (2/11/2017 2:18:00 PM)

    tom allport
    a very powerful poem about what happens when we don't share and greed takes over us. (Report) Reply

  • (1/3/2016 8:24:00 PM) interesting write ★ (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, July 31, 2015

Poem Edited: Friday, July 31, 2015

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