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Langston Hughes

10 Langston Hughes Quotes to Prove That Freedom Comes From Within

"I could've died for love— / But for livin' I was born."
A poet, a playwright, an activist, an artist, and one of the great leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes changed the course of history. His artful words portrayed the lives of working-class blacks in their quest for happiness and the American Dream. Tones of sadness, joy, triumph, and love were all tightly laced through Hughes’ works. Even jazz poetry was a style that he coined during the 20s. This rhythmic style soon became a beautiful collision of art.

 

Dubbed the “Poet Laureate of Harlem,” his original brownstone on 127th Street in Harlem still stands tall and rich with history. It’s the home of where he produced some of his greatest literary and musical works. In honor of a great artist and Black History Month, here are ten quotes from Langston Hughes.

 

1. I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.

 


 

2. Oh, God of Dust and Rainbows,
Help us to see
That without the dust the rainbow
Would not be.

 


 

3. So since I'm still here livin',
I guess I will live on.
I could've died for love—
But for livin' I was born.

 


 

4. I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

 


 

5. Yet the ivory gods, And the ebony gods, And the gods of diamond-jade, Are only silly puppet gods That people themselves Have made.

 


 

6. An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose

 


 

7. Believing everything she read
In the daily news,
(No in-between to choose)
She thought that only
One side won,
Not that BOTH
Might lose.

 


 

8. When a man starts out to build a world,
He starts first with himself

 


 

9. Most musicians remain poor. But the music that they make, even if it does not bring them millions, gives millions of people happiness.

 


 

10. I've been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me, Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!

 

via GIPHY

 

 Feature Image Via The Nation