Title: Not Without Laughter
Author: Langston Hughes
Publish date: 1930
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Well it seems I haven’t met a Langston Hughes piece of work that I didn’t love. But it’s true. Yet another beautiful work by the literary great.
Not Without Laughter is a novel about Sandy – a young boy living with his family in small town Kansas in the 1910’s.
It is a powerful novel that addresses racism, segregation, and slavery. Hughes has such a way to bringing the reader into the story he’s painted; becoming one of the characters. It’s a gift he has.
A few chapters into this book, I realized Sandy’s grandmother must have been old enough to be a freed slave. When I made that realization, it hit me hard. I don’t feel like 1910 was that long ago. And yet people living in that time, were slaves.
As a white American it’s easy to think that slavery and segregation was something that happen “a really long time ago” but in reality, it wasn’t. And as we witness daily, racism hasn’t gone anywhere.
Reading these stories are important.
Brining these characters to life is important.
And I am so grateful for Hughes and his words.
“There ain’t no room in this world fo’ nothin’ but love, Sandy chile. That’s all they’s room fo’ – nothin’ but love.” – Aunt Hager (Sandy’s grandmother), Not Without Laughter
There is still so much to learn. So much to do. So much change to be a part of.