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AP Literature: Poetry: Hughes, Langston



"Langston Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of black intellectual, literary, and artistic life that took place in the 1920s in a number of American cities, particularly Harlem. A major poet, Hughes also wrote novels, short stories, essays, and plays. He sought to honestly portray the joys and hardships of working-class black lives, avoiding both sentimental idealization and negative stereotypes." from Poetry Foundation

Poem: 50-50


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I’m all alone in this world, she said,

Ain’t got nobody to share my bed,

Ain’t got nobody to hold my hand—

The truth of the matter’s

I ain’t got no man.

Big Boy opened his mouth and said,

Trouble with you is

You ain’t got no head!

If you had a head and used your mind

You could have me with you

All the time.

She answered, Babe, what must I do?

He said, Share your bed—

And your money, too.