Another famous black poet was Langston Hughes, whose birthday is today. Hughes was a child of divorce, his father having abandoned the family, and was raised mainly by his grandmother. This was in the first decade of the 1900s, not a time when we think of divorce even being around, though of course it was. Hughes eventually reconnected with both his mother and father, but his relationship with his father particularly troubled him. And I'm reminded, reading of his mother's long absence from his life, of Hughes' famous poem, "Mother to Son:"
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.