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The Negro Mother

Langston Hughes

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Missing Lines
Added by: Donna Williams
There are 4 lines missign from this poem. I'm not sure why. I did this poem in a dramatic presentation about twenty years ago and the lines were there, but now they are msising from this version adn some of the others on the internet.
The lines are suppose to be in the first stanza. They are
Beaten andmistreted for the work that I gave --
A prey to white passion,
A slave to white lust
Nothing was too low for me then
Back there in the dust.

If we are going to plagiarize, we should do it correctly.
Dramatic Recitations
Added by: Michael Norton
I know the version to which you refer, Donna, but it's not the proper version of the poem.

There was a book published in the 20's called "The Negro Mother and Other Dramatic Recitations" - you can see the cover and first stanza (different from both this version *and* the one you posted) here:


It's hard to say which is the "definitive" (for me, anyway, since I'm not a Hughes scholar).

Anyone else see other versions of this floating around?

And you Plagiarist people - why not publish both versions?

Just my thoughts.
negro mother
The poem is stupid and I'm black
Added by: cheriee daniels
Im doing a research project on Langston Hughes and to call this poem stupid is very weird. Either you dont know your history or you just dont care. To me it means that are ancestors struggle very hard for me becase we all are children of are decendants. If are ancestors didnt go through what they went through or if there was no one to stand up for black rights where would we be today!! Im very proud of my african-american race for we went through a lot just to have freedom! If you still dont understand reread the poem and put your self in her position.
Poem Stupid?
Added by: Syrine Reese
I cannot fathom saying such a thing. To say this poem is stupid is a direct barometer of your level of understanding of the poem. This poem depicts the struggles and sacrifices that our ancestors put forth for the things that many take for granted. I agree with the comment previous to mines, maybe you should reread it and try and look at it from the prospective of the "slave."

There is nothing stupid about this poem. It is sad and strong.

But certainly not stupid.
seriously confused
Added by: tamacia ward
I would have to agree with the comments made before myself. I am African American and I am very proud of this, and I am a woman. To imagine the heartache our ancestors had to endure can't even be put to words. We were raped, beaten, and left without a single thought, but we still had our dignity. Our children deserve to know all that is relevant in their past to relate to the things that are easily taken for granted during this dayand age. I am appalled that someone that speaks the claim of being African American would say such a thing....
Stupid: Ignorance is Bliss
Added by: Yuvette Williams
To the person who left the ignorant comment, research your heritage. There isnt anything stupid about the poem. It is about our heritage and the struggle of the African American woman. Next time, dont leave a comment that exhibits your ignorance and disrespect one of the fathers of the greatest literary era for African Americans, The Harlem Renaissance. Remember Silence is Golden!
Good Poem?
Added by: Jim
No. Sorry. Langston HUghes is an idiot. I'm sorry if you do not agree. He needs to shut up and write a poem that actually makes sense and means something. "Negro Mother?" wow what a good tone and theme for a great poem. He IS stupid, the poem is stupid, and I am not black. If you have ever read I, Too, Sing America, you will understand what i'm saying. He is a whining, complaining, selfish little **** who needs to get a real job and eat in his own dining room. Thanks Langston! NOt.
Negro Mother
Added by: Nisie
Shante, I think that you need someone to talk to you about the history of your people. This peom represents the struggle. If you think it's stupid then I guess you think that our history as black people is also stupid.
Added by: shantelle
How could you someone say this poem is stupid.
I'm 15 years old and am a Sophmore.
i KNOW this poem by HEART.
I've recited this poem over 10 times. and because of it im in the top 10 poetry out loud winners.
this poem is deep and obviously you truly dont understand it.
you need to know some of your history honey, cuz from what i see you dont know a THING about it.

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