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Madam and the Charity Child

Once I adopted
A little girl child,
She grew up and got ruint,
Nearly drove me wild.
Then I adopted
A little boy.
He used a switch-blade
for a toy.
What makes these charity
Children so bad?
Ain’t had no luck
With none I had.
Poor little things,
Born behind the 8-rock,
With parents that don’t even
Stop to take stock.
The county won’t pay me
But a few bucks a week.
Can’t raise no child on that,
So to speak.
And the lady from the
Juvenile Court
Always coming around
Wanting a report.
Last time I told her,
Things is bad –
You figure out why!
                             Langston Hughes
What’s up all you charity chillun’ ?
When the lady
from the Juvenile Court
Comes round asking for a report.
Tell her times are hard, things is bad!
Got miseries like I never had,
But I sure if I just hold on tight
Things are gonna work out just right!
Have a great weekend and Happy Mothers Day!
About tenthltr2u (1076 Articles)
A child of the 60's I often feel out of place in the world as it exist today. Too much excess, too much materialism, too few people who genuinely care or give a damn. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

1 Comment on Madam and the Charity Child

  1. Langston Hughes, in a letter to his friend, Arna Bontemps – (a Fisk University professor, and the son of a brick mason later a lay minister in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, who, it was indicated was strongly affected by the life of his grandmother’s younger brother, ‘Uncle Buddy,’ about whose love of wine, women, song, money and horses, Bontemps wrote so vividly about in "God Sends Sunday") – referred to his "Madam to You" series, stating "I have been typing the Madam to You series all out–18 of them now. Poetry ("Poetry of the Negro") will have three in next issue. It takes all day everyday to do something like that … " The letter was one included in the book "Arna Bontemps – Langston Hughes: Letters 1925-1967, Selected and Edited by Charles H. Nichols (Paragon House: New York), 1980, 1990. Perhaps as a Langston Hughes fan, you already have this book.It was indicated that between 1925 and 1967 Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps exchanged about 2300 letters. 500 of the most interesting and significant were selected. The book was described as follows: "The work of Arna Bontemps and Langston Hughes is a celebration of the triumphant creative spirit in African-American life. From the welding of their friendship in 1925 until Hughes’ death in 1967, this volume gathers the best of the forty-two years of correspondence between them. The first letters, written in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance, witness the struggle of two young writers searching for a voice and an identity. By 1941, both Bontemps and Hughes had achieved a certain degree of success, and had become increasingly involved in racial and social struggles. Finally, in the period between 1959 and 1967, we see them react to the civil rights movement. This fascinating collection makes an invaluable contribution to the understanding of twentieth century American culture and one of its most vital components, the African-American heritage which these two correspondents did so much to create. Langston Hughes’s (1902-1967) major works include "The Best of Simple,SelectedPoems," "Not Without Laughter," and "The Big Sea." Langston Hughes, a regular columnist for the Chicago Defender and the New York Post, creates his best-known caracter, Jesse B. Simple "with a canny judgment and ironic insight of the man in the street," was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1961 and was a guest of the President of the United States on more than one occasion. Arna Bontemps (1902-1973) is the author of "Black Thunder," "Drums at Dark," "God Sends Sunday" and a biography of Frederick Douglass, among others. Together with Hughes he edited the anthology, "Poetry of the Negro." Bontemps joins the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1966 and in 1969 he goes to Yale. Charles H. Nichols is a professor of English at Brown University. His works include "Many Thousand Gone: The Ex-Slaes’ Account of Their Bondage and Freedom" and Black Men in Chains: Narratives of Escaped Slaves."


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