• Fri. Nov 24th, 2023

Janeane's World: Published By James, Davis, and Associates

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Black History Month – Langston Hughes – Ballad of a Girl Whose Name is Mud

The poem of the day for today’s Black History Month Langston Hughes tribute is “Ballad of a Girl Whose Name is Mud.” During February each year, people all across the United States celebrate Black History Month. Things are no different here at Janeane’s World. This month I am copying an idea I got from my friend Pammy Pam over at An Unconventional Librarian and I am devoting the entire month to the poems of my favorite author and poet, Langston Hughes. I will start the month with my favorite poem and share a poem a day for the entire month.

You may ask what place does poetry or celebrations of Black History month have in this blog that was created to encourage, inspire and motivate women to be their best at work and home. I would answer that I am an African-American woman so black history is my history and when you understand and appreciate it, you come closer to understanding and appreciating me. I would also answer that poetry, like all forms of artistic expression fuels our passions, gives us hope makes us think and makes life richer and better.

Ballad of a Girl Whose Name is Mud

A girl with all that raising,
It’s hard to understand
How she could get in trouble
With a no-good man.

The guy she gave her all to
Dropped her with a thud
Now amongst decent people,
Dorothy’s name is mud.

But nobody’s see her shed a tear,
Nor seen her bang her head.
Aint even heard her murmur,
Lord, I wish I was dead!

No! The hussy’s telling everybody-
Just as if it was no sin-
That if she had a chance-
She’d do it agin!


This poem has so much going on with it!Take a minute to look beyond the story of a young woman who got into trouble over a man. That is a story that is old and gets older the more it is told. Instead look at the resilience of the young girl. Look at the haughtiness she has that is so common in the young. She admits she did wrong, but insists she will not let that wrong ruin her life. She if moving onward and upward. She is not keeping her head bowed. She is not allowing herself to be defeated or to bow to the bad words and murmuring that is surely going on around her. Instead, she is moving forward and declaring she will give life another shot.

This is a valuable lesson for us all. When you mess up and things seem horribly wrong, be encouraged, keep moving forward with determination. You cannot control the rumors of those around you, but you can control how you react to the rumors and how you let defeats impact your life. Sometimes, you have to suck it up and move forward so that you can get back on track. Do not let defeats keep you down forever. Instead, admit a mistake was made, apologize and then take steps to make things better. Nowhere in the prior statement do you see an admonition that you hang your head in shame. There are only 24 hours in a day. When you mess up, fess up, fix up and then keep moving forward!