‘Slave on the Block’ by Langston Hughes

With cutting irony, this describes what most people would call a well-intentioned white couple’s interactions with a young black man. Hughes dramatizes the liberal attitude to “negroes” and the ways in which Black Art is valorized over Black Life. I love this story for its confrontational simplicity: everybody should meet it.

In The Ways of White Folks, Vintage, 1971

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