Harvest of Dreams
African American Poetry and Prose.
"...I discovered Langston Hughes when I was pregnant with my first child. It was then that I took time to read some of those many books teachers referred to, but we never got around to studying in college. Langston Hughes was not discussed at our dinner table. He was not introduced at our integrated neighbors houses. But when I discovered Langstons words, I knew that I had been hearing him my whole life, not knowing his name, not knowing that he knew my heart better than I did myself. Langston spoke for so many people. He could hear the rhythms and relate them like prayers.
Then, I discovered Sterling Brown and Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Waring Cuney. Where had they been all my life? How could I have not know them and their work? Their words have come to mean so much to me. They have connected me from one generation to the next. From before to beyond, their words are like a life-line to me and I hold on. Georgia Douglas Johnson, James Weldon Johnson. I read everything I can find. I climb those not so "crystal stairs" and dream about "Daybreak in Alabama". The poems do not seem old, or young, they seem fresh and new and so very wise. I have included several contemporary black writers. They unite and bind wounds with words. I wish to stand among them, I wish to stand for these dreams that will not die; dreams that deserve to live.
Every child, young and old needs to hear that they are beautiful by design." -Ilene Evans