Jan. 22, 2019

Clarence Willi Norris, The Scottsboro Boys, Langston Hughes, And The Blackman Read Aloud Hour

Justice Still Not On America's Mainline For Black America


On Jan. 22, 1989, Clarence "Willi" Norris the last remaining Scottsboro Boy died in New York City. Today I pay homage to Clarence Norris and the Scottsboro Boys as well as announcing the next book that I will be reading on The Blackman Read Aloud Hour, Peace.

That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise.
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.


I absolutely love the interconnectedness of the black experience in literature, history, and the arts, that is why beginning this evening after just finishing The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke. It was Alain Locke who helped in introducing the black community to the genius that was Langston Hughes. It was the community of Harlem that drew Langston Hughes away from Columbia University and the possibility of becoming just another negro lawyer, rather than the greatest black wordsmith our community ever produced.

So it is inevitable that I should connect some dots and this evening by beginning reading The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel. This book includes the collection of poems by the master himself, Langston Hughes, from 1921 to 1967. So join me on this marvelous journey as we dig deep into the historical magnificence of America's greatest poet, Mr. Langston Hughes, on The Blackman's Read Aloud Hour.

Hang yourself, poet, in your own words. Otherwise, you are dead.

Langston Hughes (1964)