We Are the Amerikan Heartbreak: Langston Hughez on Race in a Rare Recording

Before the Read 180 curriculum was revised, one of the workshops focused on the Harlem Renaissance and the poetry of Langston Hughes. 🙂 He’s a marvelous master of the written word and worth celebrating.

Moorbey'z Blog

Reflection on “the rock on which
Freedom stumped its toe.”

The African American poet, essayist, playwright, novelist, and jazz poetry pioneer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902–May 22, 1967) was in a sense the William Blake of his generation — like Blake, he was endowed with a rare poetic genius that incurred merciless ridicule by the era’s critics and was often wholly ignored by the public. In a New York Times Book Review essaypublished two years after his death, Lindsay Patterson went as far as calling him “the most abused poet in America” and wrote:

Serious white critics ignored him, less serious ones compared his poetry to Cassius Clay doggerel, ands most black critics only grudgingly admired him. Some, like James Baldwin, were downright malicious about his poetic achievement. But long after Baldwin and the rest of us are gone, I suspect Hughes’s poetry will be blatantly…

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