The New York Times

Remember Langston Hughes's Anger Alongside His Joy

ON HIS BIRTHDAY, I HOPE WE DON’T FORGET HIS DEEP FRUSTRATION WITH THIS COUNTRY.

Reading Langston Hughes’s poetry is like going to church.

And by church, I mean the type of church where the congregation calls out “amen” as the pastor preaches. Where people wearing their Sunday best — big hats and polished shoes — wave their hands giving praise, shouting, “I know that’s right!” when a line of Scripture resonates.

When I was growing up, call and response was a part of my church’s culture. At Antioch Missionary Baptist Church,

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