Happy Black History Month


To celebrate the first of Feb that kicks off  Black History Month (a whole 29 days this month because of the leap year.) I want to highlight an often overlooked writer and poet: Mr. Langston ‘What Happens to a Dream Deferred’ Hughes.

For two reasons. One, he’s my favorite poet  (Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou are tied for my book-loving affections, TBH.) And because today is his birthday. No brainer there.

Other than that it’s not hard to appreciate the Joplin, Missouri-bred turned Harlem transplant’s pen. For instance, he wrote “The Negro Speaks Rivers” when he was a teenager. How often does a seventeen year old capture a whole race’s struggle using a body of water as a focus. Don’t believe me? Watch him recite the powerful poem below.

After hearing that poem it’s no mystery how Hughes became one of the legendary artistic architects behind the Harlem Renaissance. Building literary masterpieces–“I,Too” “Mother to Son” and “As I Grew Older”— of the Black experience like Gehry constructs buildings.

The wordsmith died in 1967 from complications treating prostrate cancer. He’s interred at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in (where else?) Harlem. As a lasting reminder of his legacy his epitaph reads “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

Doesn’t it give you chills?

Who are some of your favorite Black American heroes and sheroes? How will you celebrate Black History Month this year? Let me know in the comments below.

What Happens to a Dream Deferred?

There was a ginormous dark cloud hanging over my head today. Well, to be honest, its been accumulating this week with one rejection, after another, until my inbox was littered with notifications of “you’re not a good fit.”Deuces

I received one more today and it didn’t produce a cloud as much as a storm. With lots and lots of showers. And thunder. Plus a Beyonce song blasting in the background. Look, I love you guys. I appreciate you as readers and I’m not on here to whine about my bad week. Even though it was epically bad. I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled celebs-with-a-cause posts to help a girl in need.Me.

I’m writing to get advice. Is there ever a point where you just throw up your hands and ask, “what’s the point?” Of chasing a dream that shows no sign of being caught. To give everything you have, and find a way for the things you don’t, and it not be valued and reciprocated.

So my point is this, why continue? Why try to break into an industry that values coders and engineers (no shade) more than writers. Scribes with unique perspectives on the world, especially during these turbulant times, that don’t require a complex formula to make some sense of the world to the masses.

And let’s say, hypothetically that I did get my dream job, how long before it’s eliminated? Just like all the jobs in the industry seem to be.

This week has put me in the uncomfortable position of being a cynic and a pessimist. Two qualities I abhor in others and somehow adopted.

Dreams are hard. I get it. But at what point do you wake up to reality?