That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Langston Hughes's poem Justice


  1. Jamal Hannah says:

    Nice and meaningful! 🙂

  2. Adrian Henson says:

    Hi adrian Henson from armenia and adrian henson from american i am adrian henson from england. goddess shows that it is worshipped but the horribly disfigured eyes show its true ugliness

  3. Scarlet says:

    I immediately loved this poem. It’s a poem of hope for equality. It took me a couple of readings to get a full understanding. “Justice” is the blindfolded mythological goddess that symbolizes truth and justice. She was not blind according to myths. But, L.H. has made her blind in the poem. And, the only people that are aware of this are blacks. Since Justice can no longer see and can only hear of injustice practices, she can no longer judge based on skin color. This may sound confusing but L.H. felt that it was okay to dream.

  4. Cail says:

    When I see the first line, I immediately see that justice is supposed to be non-judgmental and thus “blind.” And on the second line where it says “we black are wise,” I find it is saying they are wise or used to the actual JUDGING. The “festering sores” show that justice is still judgmental, and leans towards the black people (back in the day). My analysis…am I right? (I hope, doing this for a project)

  5. Harriet says:

    Justice is meant to be blind, meaning that the determination of guilt or innocence is not made with any bias or prejudice. However, in my opinion I think that Hughes is making a satire of this symbol. When Hughes says “Justice is Blind” he means that it is completely nonexistent for African Americans. Justice is unable to see the black community; justice is unable to reach the black community.

  6. Young Leez says:

    Reading this poem each and everyday has changed my life forever. The words of langston Hughes are a key part in my everyday life.

  7. larry lawson says:

    shows that life still is not that much different now than it was back in the twenties in the eyes of justice. Justice is said to be a beautiful goddess who is blind. Bandages cover sores those were once eyes. In my opinion it’s not justice who is blind, but the people, who make up justice, are inconsiderate because of their own judgments. Our legal system has our peers defining justice how they see it, and unless they are blind, to race, sexes, and their own biases, than they should find a new justice system.

  8. nabilah says:

    the poem is somewhat true because it makes sense hughes is saying that justice is a godess beatiful yet blind because it sees what others want it to thats why it has sores as eyes because it has a flaw just like every thing else in this world!!!!!!!!!

  9. melody says:

    I think that this poem shows that no matter what rase you are, the eyes of justice still look to you. Langston Hughes is one of my favorite poets because he says things of how they truly are and shows it through the eyes of a true American


  10. Matt Lauer says:

    Hey what about the paradoxes and symbolism in this poem, think about it, Hughes talks of Justice as a Goddess. Well they are suppossed to be perfect, but as he pointed out it has flaws in it so it cant be perfect and now when a black person goes on trial they are automatically sterotyped as Gangsta or some other stupid thin like that and he is stating that clearly, but sarcastically when he says that the justice system has no eyes for race….

    just my thoughts and btw a great and deep poem 🙂

  11. Sami says:

    Ok i am doing a project on hughes and these comments helped me but i came up with my own conclusion

    The poem simply draws attention to the ways of justice in America when it comes to race. In the poem Hughes mocks the saying that justice is blind. Upon reading this poem today the reader might think that the speaker was trying to say that Justice knows no bias towards skin color, religion, or gender. In Hughes time this conclusion would be far from true; thus, Hughes was contradicting the saying that his race knows how justice is blind to the actual people. America gives the blacks no justice at all.

  12. CHASE says:


  13. research says:

    This poem was written in 1923. Justice was certainly not blind to race at that time. This poem was a reaction to the racial INjustice of the era. Sean has it right.

  14. Cecily Davis says:

    i think this poem is about how the blacks did not have as much just as the whites and that blacks were treated differently but we are wise about it. But now justice is blind meanining that it has no color and that whites and blacks are judged the same.

  15. anonymous says:

    I believe that he is talking about a blind goddess that use to see what qualities were in a person but is now being blinded by race

  16. Kay says:

    I think poetry has a different meaning to each indivivual. One person might see something in a poem that someone else does not agree with, but your opinion is never wrong.

  17. Ali says:

    i definately agree with sean on this one. justice being blind to color back then in Harlem is a nice thought but hardly true or practical. Most of Hughes’s poetry is about the racism he experienced so it would make no sense for him to write a poem saying that it doesn’t matter to the law what race you are. For example in the poem ” Ballad of the Landlord” it is said that a tenant gets 90 days in jail for threatening a white landlord, an obvious example of racism. sorry bobby but i think that you are wrong on this one.

  18. bobby says:

    Sorry sean your dead wrong it’s opposite, justice used to be biased by basing it’s decision on looks instead of which ones right or wrong. Now it’s “blind” because it doesn’t judge on color. I thin that’s kind of obvious. Sorry if that’s insulting.

  19. Sean says:

    The poem is short, but it gets the point across. Hughes is saying that blacks “are wise” to the fact that justice is blind. He says that maybe, once, justice “had eyes,” but now it is blind to the blacks. He is saying that the blacks don’t get justice like the whites. I liked this poem.

  20. adm says:

    justice cannot find it’s way to the blacks or blacks are not able to recieve the justice for equality. Justice was takin away, or blinded, from the blacks when it’s eyes were takin out, by the white ppl i guess…??? i dont know…

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