Whose Our Modern Day Langston Hughes?


When I was a kid I digested books, still do actually. I can’t recall which genre I was interested in. I’m a gemini so no telling. I remembered that I wrote as passionately as I read. I wrote what I knew and saw outside my window. Today that kind of writing is called ‘street lit’.

Walking into a bookstore like Borders or Barnes and Noble I would get geeked seeing a section (although small) of black authors. As an adult I read these ‘street lit’ stories with ‘obligation’ glasses on my face.

What is ‘obligation’ glasses?

They are glasses blacks put on that instantly makes us see and believe that we need to support a person, regardless if it fits into our own morals, just because they are black. If we don’t we run the risk of being labeled a sellout.

I’m getting too old for that kind of action. I’ll say what I feel and if you can’t handle my truth then I suggest you stop reading.

Ok, what in the hell happened to great works of literature? Where is our generation’s Langston Hughes or Zora Neale Hurston? You know the black writers who wrote with substance, a purpose. Literary works that will forever leave a lasting legacy a hundred years from now. Come on, do you really believe all of the ‘street lit’ out now will stand the test of time? That future generations will look at a cliche ‘hood’ book and say ‘damn now I aspire to write like this!’

What happened really? When did we turn down the wrong street toward nine levels of foolishness instead of literature growth? My theory? We got comfortable. We’ve adopted the mantra ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’d. Once a person becomes stagnant in life they start to die. I don’t know if the writers of street lit have any passion to elevate their craft or is comfortable with being lukewarm writers. Let me just say though, all street lit writers are garbage. In fact my favorite author is a writer of street lit – Ms Sister Souljah. I would love to get a hold of that genius’s pen because her words flow like a waterfall made of butter. You want realism read any of her works.

Will I go out on a limb and say activist and writer Sister Souljah is this generation’s Zora Neale Hurston? Ok yeah I’m confident enough to co-sign my own statement. Along with Toni Morrison, Tananarive Due and Maya Angelou. Hopefully I will be admired as these ladies are now one day.

Peace and luv!

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