African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Langston Hughes, "Shadows" (1923)

We run,
We run,
We cannot stand these shadows!
Give us the sun.

We were not made
For shade,
For heavy shade,
And narrow space of stifling air
That these white things have made.
We run,
Oh, God,
We run!
We must break through these shadows,
We must find the sun.

This poem was published in The Crisis, August 1923

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