Beale Street Love
Pulling No Punches About the Black Experience
While Hughes doesn't make a habit out of writing about fists, his poetry has a way of hitting his readers hard. He often wrote about being black, and he never sentimentalized the experience. He had no qualms about showing the less appealing side of African American life, and this poem is a classic example of that. Despite his singular focus on the black experience, Hughes' simple language, unflinching approach, and musical sensibilities give his poems an appeal that reaches far beyond his own community. Regardless of the color of your skin, reading Hughes can change you and your views. Once you get hit by a Hughes poem, it might take you a while to pick yourself back up off the mat.