05 March 2014

Theme for A&HE 6504

As I read Langston Hughes "Theme for English B" for the first time, I was just beginning my second semester at Teachers College, Columbia University and, having been unable to secure a teaching position on arrival to New York, was working at the Harlem Branch Y. In short, I saw myself in Hughes, questioning his place at the prestigious university, making that same walk down the hill into Harlem where I found myself more at home.

Granted, I was far from the only coloured person in the room or even the only Chicano. My professor wasn't white, and I can't claim the racial struggles Hughes faced. But I felt his isolation and slowly, his sense of belonging, making a contribution.