Quote by Langston Hughes
We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.
This quote, attributed to the younger generation of African American artists during the civil rights era, conveys their determination to express their authentic selves without fear or shame. It emphasizes that their self-worth is not dependent on the approval or disapproval of white people or their own community. Their commitment is to create art that reflects their beauty and imperfections, the joy and pain of their existence. By asserting their independence and resilience, they aim to build a better future for themselves and stand proudly, liberated from societal constraints.
In their sympathies, children feel nearer animals than adults. They frolic with animals, caress them, share with them feelings neither has words for. Have they ever stroked any adult with the love they bestow on a cat? Hugged any grownup with the ecstasy they feel when clasping a puppy?