Lesa Cline-Ransome Finds Langston...

It’s the 1940’s and eleven year old Langston has just moved from Alabama, to Chicago’s South Side. This world, compared to his last are drastically different.

The sounds are different.

The people aren’t as friendly.

Chicago and Alabama are a far cry from each other.

This is Lesa Cline-Ransome’s Finding Langston

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The apartment at 4501 Wabash Avenue lacks one person who will never give him a hug, a kiss, an, it’ll all be OK -Langston’s mother.

Meanwhile, his father does what he can to keep a roof over their head, heading to work every single day. But, Langston’s father, and his now deceased mother are two different people. The tears Langston wants to let escape stay put, Langston knows to not let them fall.

One piece of relief in Langston’s life comes when he stumbles upon a building close to his school that holds the key to his name. This key opens up an entire world of words.

Poems contained between two covers.

Poems that bring him straight back to Alabama’s roads and his Momma’s hugs.

Poems by Langston Hughes.

Children, I come back today 
To tell you a story of the long dark way 
That I had to climb, that I had to know 
In order that the race might live and grow…

- The Negro Mother by Langston Hughes

Lesa Cline-Ransome combines The Great Migration struggles thousands of African American’s faced, with the legacy of poet Langston Hughes, giving us a novel children can pick up and relate to, by stepping into the shoes of eleven year old Langston. While the story takes place in the 1940’s, Langston’s struggles aren’t too far from the struggles countless kids face today.

The death of a parent.

Relocation.

Bullying.

And Langston’s solution to these struggles aren’t too far from the solutions children find today, a safe place. In this case, that safe place comes in the form of a library and the words of Langston Hughes.

When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold.
When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold.
Since I come up North de
Whole damn world's turned cold.

- Po’ Boy Blues by Langston Hughes

When you pick up your copy of Finding Langston, make sure you grab a copy of Langston Hughes poetry. Lesa Cline-Ransome is giving readers a peek into the poetry of James Mercer Langston Hughes.

I couldn’t help but to pause and read some of Hughes pieces, including the entirety of The Negro Mother.

The poetry of Langston Hughes may have been written in the past, but the words belong in the present. A constant reminder of the struggles African American’s have and continue to face.

A way for us to find our way through it all…