22 March 2014

Yours Truly, Aliyah

Dear Langston Hughes,

I would like to start off by saying hat I enjoyed your poem, "Theme for English B." I can almost understand how you feel in regards of being a black student in New York with a white English teacher. All of my years of high school, I had white English teachers  but I really thought nothing of it. I mean, I've certainly noticed that the way they grew up and their lifestyles were completely different than mine, but I didn't see it as they were more privileged than me because of our skin colors. You say in your poem, "Well I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love. I like a pipe for a Christmas present, or records---Bessie, bop, or Bach. I guess being colored doesn't make me NOT like the same things other folks like who are other races." I can agree to what you said because people look at me weird because I love Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber. But the conflict with that is that it's not WHITE people who are like "wow, you're black and you like them," with nasty looks; it's actually black people. I know time were different during the time you were growing up in the '80s and the way I'm growing up in the 21st century. I've always been racially diverse being that my father was born in Guyana and is about a third Chinese and my mother is Native American, Irish and Black. I don't feel like being black, white, Chinese, Arabian, Russian, Puerto Rican, etc. determines what you  like at all. Because I love Italian food and to my knowledge, I don't have an ounce of Italian in my blood line. I said in the beginning of this letter that "I can almost understand," I said that because, like I also said I had white English teachers, but the "almost" is what differentiates our situations. While you were in school, it's more than likely you were the only black student in your class, which is why it would be a shocker to your classmates that you liked things that they, too, had liked. But, in the time I'm living in, my English classes are so diverse and America is more racially accepting than when you were in school, so there is no shock when a teacher asks who liked rap and a white girl and a black boy both raises their hands. But one last thing, I completely agree with when you said "...But it will be a part of you, instructor. You are white---yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. That's American.," because no matter anybody's race, there is always something to learn from one another.

Yours Truly,



I chose these two photos to compare school during Langston Hughes' time growing up versus mine. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Aliyah. The pictures are nice juxtaposition :-) I also like your explanation of racial "expectations" that Hughes challenges in his poem.