Friday, February 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Langston!
February 1, 1902

Langston Hughes
American Writer, Poet and Essayist

They send me to eat in
the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

"I, Too, Sing America"

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

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers. 1922

Langston Hughes House
20 East 27th Street, Harlem

Langston Hughes' ashes
are interred beneath a floor medallion in the foyer leading to the auditorium named for him within the
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,
located on Lenox Avenue
at 135th Street
in Harlem.

The design on the floor covering his cremated remains is an African cosmogram titled Rivers. The title is taken from the poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Hughes. Within the center of the cosmogram and precisely above the ashes of Hughes are the words My soul has grown deep like the rivers.