The Negro Mother

Rating: 4.0
Children, I come back today
To tell you a story of the long dark way
That I had to climb, that I had to know
In order that the race might live and grow.
Look at my face - dark as the night -
Yet shining like the sun with love's true light.
I am the dark girl who crossed the red sea
Carrying in my body the seed of the free.
I am the woman who worked in the field
Bringing the cotton and the corn to yield.
I am the one who labored as a slave,
Beaten and mistreated for the work that I gave -
Children sold away from me, I'm husband sold, too.
No safety, no love, no respect was I due.

Three hundred years in the deepest South:
But God put a song and a prayer in my mouth.
God put a dream like steel in my soul.
Now, through my children, I'm reaching the goal.

Now, through my children, young and free,
I realized the blessing deed to me.
I couldn't read then. I couldn't write.
I had nothing, back there in the night.
Sometimes, the valley was filled with tears,
But I kept trudging on through the lonely years.
Sometimes, the road was hot with the sun,
But I had to keep on till my work was done:
I had to keep on! No stopping for me -
I was the seed of the coming Free.
I nourished the dream that nothing could smother
Deep in my breast - the Negro mother.
I had only hope then, but now through you,
Dark ones of today, my dreams must come true:
All you dark children in the world out there,
Remember my sweat, my pain, my despair.
Remember my years, heavy with sorrow -
And make of those years a torch for tomorrow.
Make of my pass a road to the light
Out of the darkness, the ignorance, the night.
Lift high my banner out of the dust.
Stand like free men supporting my trust.
Believe in the right, let none push you back.
Remember the whip and the slaver's track.
Remember how the strong in struggle and strife
Still bar you the way, and deny you life -
But march ever forward, breaking down bars.
Look ever upward at the sun and the stars.
Oh, my dark children, may my dreams and my prayers
Impel you forever up the great stairs -
For I will be with you till no white brother
Dares keep down the children of the Negro Mother.
Asitha Anil 12 November 2020
Thanks for this poem I have choose it as my poem for recitation
1 0 Reply
Mayyy 17 February 2021
Me too, my teacher recommended it to me and it's really good
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Aleatrice Carlos 29 October 2020
My Mother taught my Son this poem when he was 4 years old but thought it was called theBlack Mother
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DVJohnson 05 September 2020
So, astonishingly profound how long ago Langston Hughes crafted this poem referencing Negro mothers' pain of " 300 yrs" , and the words are so poignantly relevant today in 2020.
1 0 Reply
Petrucci Taliaferro 14 June 2020
Emotion evoking as the date is different but the struggle is still the same 6/14/2020
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Danielle 11 April 2019
I remember. Remembering gives me air when I need a deep breath.
7 6 Reply
GOTEEMMM 17 April 2019
lol all dislikes
0 0 Reply
Marjorie 11 February 2019
The poem is beautiful and true. Dark children press onward
10 2 Reply
Don Meehan 04 January 2019
I would like to say that I think this poem is beautiful and moving.
9 2 Reply
Betty McDougle 03 December 2018
Lovely poem.So sad but true
8 2 Reply
4 16 Reply
Rikilaye 14 March 2018
moving in many places and elicits a range of feelings in the sensitive reader. One thing I'll remember is the sacrifice and pride; the hope and promise of a better tomorrow that you paved the way for. It's a shame that the GOP can't relate to this and share the universal dream.
8 2 Reply

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