"One of the most promising of the young N**** poets said to me once, "I want to be a poet—not a N**** poet," meaning, I believe, "I want to write like a white poet"; meaning subconsciously, "I would like to be a white poet"; meaning behind that, "I would like to be white." And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself."blank">Not Without Laughter was published. It followed a young black man named Sandy Rodgers through his itinerant childhood in the Midwest. The book was a critical success, and Hughes received the Harmon Gold Medal for Literature.