So goes the life of a social poet. I am sure none of these things would ever have happened to me had I limited the subject matter of my poems to roses and moonlight. But, Unfortunately, I was born poor—and colored—and almost all the prettiest roses I have seen have been in the rich white people’s yards—not in mine. That is why I cannot write exclusively about roses and moonlight—for sometimes in the moonlight my brothers see a fiery cross and a circle of Klansmen’s hoods. Sometimes in the moonlight a dark body swings from a lynching tree—but for his funeral there are no roses.
— Langston Hughes