Black Misery

Langston Hughes

Black Misery was first published in 1969, but the gentle, funny, and sometimes melancholy words of Langston Hughes still cause a blink of recognition. After 25 years, it remains relevant in our own time. As you turn the pages you may say, "I remember feeling like that!" You may say, "I feel like that now."
As you look at Arouni's black and white illustrations and read the short but powerful one sentence captions, you feel the predicament of a black child adjusting to the new world of integration of the 1960s. You feel the mix of hope and dismay that characterized the decade.
Langston Hughes was a writer who often made his readers ask hard questions about life. In Black Misery he wrote about prejudice and indifference, but he wrote with humor and compassion. Today—just as we did 25 years ago-we smile and even laugh, and we also understand that some things are more than hard, are more than sad. They are pure misery.
Black Misery was the last book that Langston Hughes wrote. He died in May 1967, while working on the manuscript.

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