Sunday, November 13, 2011

Reconnecting with Langston

Over the weekend, I went to the famous DC area restaurant, Busboys & Poets, for brunch. It's been awhile since I last visited and I had forgotten the restaurant's connection with American poet Langston Hughes. Busboys & Poets' name was inspired by Hughes.

Before he took up residence in Harlem and became one of the leading voices of the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes lived in Washington, DC. He worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in the 1920s before he became a well-known poet.

The mission of Busboys & Poets is to create an environment for dialogue and thought that can create social change in our community, and then the world. Patrons include artists, poets, activists, writers and thinkers who dream big and make big things happen.

In honor of Hughes, their menu includes some of his poems and famous statements. This poem stayed with me and I thought I would pass Hughes' wise words along.
by Langston Hughes

Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.

Is a strong seed
In a great need.

I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

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