Dinner Guest: Me

Rating: 3.3
I know I am
The Negro Problem
Being wined and dined,
Answering the usual questions
That come to white mind
Which seeks demurely
To Probe in polite way
The why and wherewithal
Of darkness U.S.A.--
Wondering how things got this way
In current democratic night,
Murmuring gently
Over fraises du bois,
"I'm so ashamed of being white."

The lobster is delicious,
The wine divine,
And center of attention
At the damask table, mine.
To be a Problem on
Park Avenue at eight
Is not so bad.
Solutions to the Problem,
Of course, wait.
Friday, January 3, 2003
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COMMENTS
cucking funt 10 April 2019
harder daddy ;) i want it all inside daddy
4 4 Reply
Clifford 03 October 2018
Yes papi yes papi yes papi yes papi
6 3 Reply
Ben Dover 19 February 2018
Yes yes yes yes yes yes I do not understand
5 4 Reply
B.m. Biswas 21 May 2016
The problem is within the white....so they suffer...not the negronegros...welspoken...
6 8 Reply
E S 08 March 2016
I think some of the comments here presume Hughes excepts the idea of a Negro propblem, begging the question what it is, who decides what is (if there isn't rather a white man problem) etc. That he has a more ironic critical position to the pseudo-ethical dinnertime debates of white New York lies in the opening lines I know I am the Negro Problem, which if taken plainly would be absurd.
1 11 Reply
Hannah Shier 14 June 2010
Um I agree with Darrell but at the end I think he means that it's great that they're acknowledging that there is a problem, but the solution to that problem is going to have to wait. The whites realize that there is a problem, they just can't, or don't, want to fix it just yet.
14 55 Reply
Darrell Blue 16 January 2010
I personally think this poem is about Langston being invited to a fancy restaurant by a white person and the two of them are discussing race. You can tell by the way he says 'Asked the usual questions' and how the white person is embarrassed to be white. A black person in a fancy restaurant was a big deal back in those days. Not only do they have to wait for service in the restaurant, but their discussion is about the answer to race relations and in the end of the poem he says; the answer to the problem is to wait. Genius duality.
39 31 Reply
Tyrone Thornton 24 November 2009
Magnificent peom.... I love the last two lines of this peom because it puts us to our present day and time. We have waited for a solution.
26 23 Reply
Tiffany Border 20 February 2009
This poem is way too amazing for words! ! ! i am so impressed! ! ! ! i love love love this poem! ! ! i am doing lagston hughes for my prject in school and i could not have picked a better african american! ! !
18 30 Reply
Sean Andrews 23 April 2008
Valid points he makes of white culture in 1965, especially upper-middle class white culture 'park ave', polite, well to do, curious, sympathetic, but still not seeing the point for what it is. There is a problem, and he personifies himself as that problem. He doesn't care that you are ashamed of being white, he doesn't want you to be ashamed. He appreciates the hospitality and of listening to him, but he is no charity case which the rich sympathetic white culture can now feel gratified to have contributed to helping solve 'the problem.' The 'solution' is not a meal and a conversation, that's in fact part of the problem having over a simple 'dinner guest' isn't the answer, the 'solution' must come later and with more behind it...
20 30 Reply

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