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A Centennial Tribute to Langston Hughes

This is very dramatic, especially for California school children that don't experience snow each winter. The use of "barren" brings to mind childlessness and a sense of being unproductive, or stagnant. Struggle, and the attempts to overcome adversity were instilled in Langston as a young child by his grandmother. Hughes is telling the reader, to "hold fast" to this dream. This act is impossible and used as a metaphor. I would ask my students, "Can you hold a dream in your hand? Why didn't he just write, "hold", instead of "hold fast"? I would invite them to think of all the times they've needed to grip someone's hand tightly. We would generate a list of situations where, and when this might occur. We might come up with such examples as crossing the street, in a crowded mall, at a movie theater, the zoo, or an amusement park. These are all situations where dire consequences could result if you did not "hold fast". Hughes spent his early years during the period of the Jim Crow laws. He was not allowed, like other African American students the same freedoms as the white students he sat next to in class. By holding onto something, you keep it alive and close.

Sample  topic, essay writing: Literary Critique Of Langston Hughes - 812 words
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This is Langston Hughes's list poem about Harlem. Use the Three Read process and ask the class," Could you list all the names of streets, and stores you would see before we go to the park?" Brainstorm in pairs and then make a list on the board. Stroll through the neighborhood and literally take a "picture walk" with disposable cameras as your recording device. Set guidelines beforehand on what's acceptable and what's not. Develop the photos and spread them out for students to view. Create a collage in the style of Romare Bearden. Look at his collage, "The Block" which depicts the elements of Harlem in its later years. We will cut, paste, and scavenge to make a collage and a "found poem" representing Brisbane.

Langston Hughes is better than any other peot

Langston Hughes is better than any other peot
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Langston Hughes was the first writer to grapple with the inherent difficulties of blues poetry, and he succeeded—not always, but often—in producing poems that manage to capture the quality of genuine blues in performance while remaining effective as poems. This essay will show how in inventing blues poetry Hughes solved the two closely related problems I have sketched: first, how to write blues lyrics in such a way that they work on the printed page, and second, how to exploit the blues form poetically without losing all sense of authenticity.

Blues use a number of stanzaic forms, but the three-line “AAB” stanza is so ubiquitous as to have become the standard from which all others are seen as deviating. [End Page 177] This form is generated by a single line which is first repeated, often with minor impromptu variations, and then rhymed in a line that elaborates on or answers it:

Langston Hughes died on May 22, 1967.

The Influence of Musical Folk Traditions in the Poetry of Langston Hughes and Nicolás Guill.
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Many of Langston Hughes’s poems invoke the theme of the American Dream. In 1931, James Truslow Adams defined the American Dream: "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement." Hughes, however, addresses this concept from the perspective of the country's disenfranchised, including African Americans, Native Americans, downtrodden immigrants, and poor farmers. He portrays the glories of liberty and equality as out of reach for these populations, depicting individuals who are trapped under the fist of prejudice, oppression, and poverty. Their dreams die or are forgotten in a life defined by a desperation to survive. However, Hughes does often end his poems on a somewhat hopeful note, revealing his belief that African Americans (and others) will one day be free to pursue their dreams.

Music is crucial to the teaching of this poem. Bessie Smith, Clara and Trixie Smith, along with Ma Rainey were some of Langston's personal favorites, and although it is mentioned that he couldn't carry a tune he had a great appreciation for Blues.

Yale New Haven Teachers Institute.1998 Langston Hughes.
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Langston Hughes died of Lung Cancer, in New York City, in 1967.


Papers of Langston Hughes, 1925-1982. 84 items. Manuscripts of the poems "Motto," "Youth," "Snail," "Alabama Earth (At Booker Washington's Grave)," "Cross" and "Mississippi-1955 ("To the memory of Emmett Till lynched in Mississippi, USA/August 1955")," and reprints of "Low to High" and "High to Low". University of Virginia.

Langston Hughes died on May 22, 1967.


Letters to Mrs. Ina Steele. 2 items. University of Letters of Langston Hughes to H. R. Hays. 1942 July 4-25. 3 items. University of Virginia.

Langston Hughes’s “Harlem” is filled with extremely vivid imagery.


Langston Hughes Collection, 1926-1967. Microform. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1995. College of William and Mary. [Note: biographical material, research notes, manuscripts, galley proofs.]

J. Langston Hughes: A central figure of the Harlem Renaissance.

Autobiography/Biography

Hughes, Langston. The Big Sea: An Autobiography. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1940 (Held by College of William and Mary); New York: Thunder's Mouth Press; dist. by Persea Books, 1986. University of Virginia.

Hughes, Langston. The Big Sea: An Autobiography. Hill and Wang, 1940, 1963; 2nd Hill and Wang ed., 1993.

Hughes, Langston. The Big Sea: An Autobiography. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press; distributed by Persea Books,1986.

Hughes, Langston. O Imenso Mar; Autobiografia de Langston Hughes. Rio de Janeiro: Editorial Vitoria, 1944. [Portugese] Library of Congress Catalog.

The Big Sea,. New York & London, A.A. Knopf, 1940. Note: 7p. Library of Congress.

Hughes, Langston. I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey. New York: Rinehart, 1956. University of Virginia; New York: Hill and Wang, 1964, c1956 College of William and Mary; New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, dist. by Persea Books, 1986, c1956. Carrier Library.

Hughes, Langston. I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey. Paperback. Rei ed. Hill and Wang, 1993.

Hughes, Langston. I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey. 2nd Hill and Wang ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 1993.

Berry, Faith. Langston Hughes: Before and Beyond Harlem By Faith Berry. Westport, Conn.: L. Hill, c1983. College of William and Mary.

Haskins, James. Always Movin' On: The Life of Langston Hughes. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1993. Carrier Library.

A Langston Hughes Memorial. 1 sound cassette. Los Angeles, Calif.: Pacifica Radio Archive, 198?. University of Virginia.

Nazel, Joe. Langston Hughes. Los Angeles, CA: Melrose Square Pub., c1994.

Rollins, Charlemae H. Black Troubadour: Langston Hughes. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1970. Carrier Library.

Rampersad, Arnold. The Life of Langston Hughes. By Arnold Rampersad. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Carrier Library.

Langston Hughes : The Shakespeare of Harlem

Simply Heavenly. Book and lyrics by Hughes, music by David Martin. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1959.

Street Scene. Kurt Weill composer/performer; book by Elmer Rice; lyrics by Langston Hughes. University of Virginia.

Three Negro Plays. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969. [Note: Hughes, "Mulatto," Baraka "Slaves," Hansberry "Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window."

Troubled Island: An Opera in Three Acts. Libretto. By William Grant Stills; libretto by Langston Hughes. New York: Leeds Music Company, c1949. University of Virginia.

Musical Settings

Barber, Samuel. Fantasy in Purple. Words by Langston Hughes. 1 music manuscript score. 1925. Library of Congress.

Bartos, Jan Zdenek. Koncert Pro Housle a Orchestr. Original text Langston Hughes. Praha: Panton, 1974. Library of Congress.

Davidson, Charles. Freedom Train. Microform. From a poem by Langston Hughes; music by Charles Davidson. Library of Congress.

Gordon, Ricky Ian. Genius Child: A Cycle of 10 Songs. Music by Ricky Ian Gordon, using poems by Langston Hughes. Williamson Music; distributed by Hal Leondard, c1995. University of Virginia.

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