Black Poetry – Langston Hughes

this poem encapsulates an unspoken truth about being underground with strangers multiple times a day. we’re constantly bumping up against, avoiding and looking at people in the trains to and from our destinations. it’s hard to avoid the fact that ethnicity, class and gender/sexuality share a common space 24/7. this poem shows that not much has changed since the Harlem Renaissance. in honor of Black Power month, I give you Langston Hughes.

Subway Rush Hour

Mingled
breath and smell
so close
mingled
black and white
so near
no room for fear

1951

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