The Whispers of Black People: Langston Hughes’ Struggles with Gay Pride

Harlem in the 1920s had a tremendous amount of talented and hardworking artists.  Yet, it was very hard for those artists to find success due to racial discrimination. At that time, many black artists were gay, but couldn’t express their feelings public, and some were chose to hide their sexuality and pass as straight for most of their lives.

A very young Langston Hughes courtesy of

A very young Langston Hughes courtesy of

A Dream Deferred, by Langston Hughes What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? Langston was able to speak and decided to change the social injustice that black gays faced and he made many strides in encouraging black homosexuals to be proud of all aspects of themselves. Successful individuals suffer.  Their dreams may defer at one point.  If they are fortunate, they could reach their dreams in their lifetime, or maybe their work needs to wait after they die in order to achieve its dreams. Lupita Nyong’o tells us when she won the Oscar for best supporting actress in 2014, “No matter where you from, you dreams are valid”.   We are not giving up dreaming to unite the world.   by Maryam Alkhaldi  

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  1. Sarah M

     /  November 17, 2014

    Henry Louis Gates once said that the Harlem Renaissance was “…surely as gay as it was Black, not that it was exclusively either of these.” I think there’s growing acknowledgement of the diverse sexuality within the movement. I haven’t read it, but recently heard of Gay Voices of the Harlem Renaissance by A. B. Christa-Schwarz.


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