Black Poetry Day

I would like to share two poems from black poets, Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks. I do not officially have permission to reprint these poems so I am including the copyright information. Sadly, I could not replicate the exact formatting for Brooks’ poem. Please visit the source website for the original formatting. Share your favorite poem by a black poet.

The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks

They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.   
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,   
Tin flatware.

Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
But keep on putting on their clothes   
And putting things away.

And remembering …
Remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room that is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Bean Eaters” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1963 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Source: Poetry Foundation

Silhouette by Langston Hughes

Southern gentle lady,
Do not swoon.
They’ve just hung a black man
In the dark of the moon.

They’ve hung a black man
To a roadside tree
In the dark of the moon
For the world to see
How Dixie protects
Its white womanhood.

Southern gentle lady,
Be good!
Be good!

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 305. Source: Song of America

Twofer Tuesday Poetry: I Am Darkness & Arrogant Condescending Prick

I Am Darkness

I don’t care if it’s hot or cold
Sunny or gloomy
I wear black everyday
Black serves as a barrier
Between me and the rest of the world
I hide behind my black
Clothes and black coffee
They project and protect
My black soul
Black is my defense

Arrogant Condescending Prick

I’m the best there is or ever was
You’re just a weak, pathetic creature
You’re emotional and you complain
Whereas I have the best brain
I don’t think, I know I’m better than you
Everyone says I’m powerful and great
Look! See how great I am
Look at my greatness
Only a fool like you walks away from my greatness
Why aren’t people admiring my greatness?

From the poetry collection Men Are Garbage.