Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Negro Mother



🌿"The Negro Mother", by Langston Hughes...
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 child they stole from the sand
three hundred years ago in Africa's land.
I am the dark girl who crossed the wide 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 I gave
Children sold away from me, 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 realize the blessings 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.

Saturday, October 27, 2018



          Forever and Ever by Miss Terious Janette...ikz

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dr. Maya Angelou the Power of Words


                                    Dr. Maya Angelou the Power of Words

 Dr. Maya Angelou says they can seep into the walls, every fabric in your home and, eventually, you. Find out why Dr. Angelou says words are things, and hear her discuss their great power. Dr. Maya Angelou on the Power of Words | Oprah's Master Class | Oprah Winfrey Network

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014 . She was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.

 The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim. She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs.

 In 1982, she was named the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.

 With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide, although attempts have been made to ban her books from some U.S. libraries. Angelou's most celebrated works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics consider them to be autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.



Monday, January 29, 2018

Tracy K. Smith




Tracy K. Smith is the author of three books of poetry: The Body's Question (2003), which won the Cave Canem prize for the best first book by an African-American poet; Duende (2007), winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Essense Literary Award; Life on Mars (2011), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and Wade in the Water (forthcoming, April 2018). In 2014 she was awarded the Academy of American Poets fellowship. She has also written a memoir, Ordinary Light (2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction.

Tracy K. Smith is a native of Falmouth, Massachusetts. She was raised in Fairfield, California in a family with "deep roots" in Alabama. She is the youngest of five children. Her mother was a teacher and her father an engineer  who worked on the Hubble telescope. Smith became interested in writing and poetry early, reading Emily Dickinson and Mark Twain in elementary school; Dickinson's poems in particular struck Smith as working like "magic", she wrote in her memoir Ordinary Light, with the rhyme and meter making Dickinson's verses feel almost impossible not to commit to memory. Smith then composed a short poem entitled "Humor" and showed it to her fifth-grade teacher, who encouraged her to keep writing. The work of Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Rita Dove also became significant influences.

Smith received her A.B. from Harvard University, where she studied with Helen Vendler, Lucie Brock-Broido, Henri Cole and Seamus Heaney.  While in Cambridge, Smith joined the Dark Room Collective.  She graduated in 1994, then earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University in 1997. From 1997 to 1999, she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University.

Smith lives in Princeton, NJ with her husband, Raphael Allison, and their three children

Smith is the recipient of the 2014 Academy of American Poets Fellowship. About Tracy K. Smith, Academy of American Poets Chancellor Toi Derricotte said: “The surfaces of a Tracy K. Smith poem are beautiful and serene, but underneath, there is always a sense of an unknown vastness. Her poems take the risk of inviting us to imagine, as the poet does, what it is to travel in another person’s shoes. The Academy is fortunate to be able to confer this fitting recognition on one of the most important poets of our time.”

In June 2017 Poet and educator Tracy K. Smith was named the U.S. Poet Laureate. Smith, whose appointment was announced by the Library of Congress , will serve as the country’s official poet for a one-year term.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said. “Her work travels the world and takes on its voices; brings history and memory to life; calls on the power of literature as well as science, religion and pop culture. With directness and deftness, she contends with the heavens or plumbs our inner depths—all to better understand what makes us most human.”


         Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith Inaugural Reading


        Tracy K. Smith Reads From 'Life of Mars'


        Tracy K. Smith, "Ordinary Light"


    A Conversation with U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith