Theme for English B


The instructor said,


-Go home and write

a page tonight.

And let that page come out of you-

then, it will be true.


I wonder if it’s that simple?


I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.

I went to school there, then Durham, then here

to this college on the hill above Harlem.

I am the only colored student in my class.

The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,

trough a park, then cross St. Nicholas,

Eight Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,

the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator

up to my room, sit down, and write this page:


It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me

at twenty-two, my age. But i guess I’m what

I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:

hear you, hear me -we two- you, me, talk on this page.

(I hear New York, too). Me -who?

Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.

I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.

I like a pipe for a Christmas present,

or records -Bessie, bop, or Bach.

I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like

the same things other folks like ho are other races.

So will my my page be colored that I write?


Being me, it will no be white.

But it will be

a part of you, instructor.

You are white –

yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.

That’s American.

Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.

Nor do I often want to be a part of you.

But we are, that’s true!


As I learn from you,

I guess you learn from me-

although you’re older -and white-

and somewhat more free.


This is my page for English B.


James Langston Hughes. USA (1902-1967)

En memoria de George Floyd.

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