Happy Birthday 2 Ya “Frederick Douglass” First African American Nominated for Vice President
Wed, 14/02/18 – 9:00 | No Comment

Frederick Douglass, born a slave on February 14, 1818 (celebrated on this day, exact date unknown) was was a social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. He was the first African-American citizen to hold a high U.S. government rank.
 
Douglass published three versions of his autobiography during his lifetime, revising and expanding on his work each time. My […]

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Happy Birthday 2 Ya “Langston Hughes” Poet, Novelist & Playwright

Submitted by on Thursday, 1 February 2018No Comment

Langston Hughes, born February 1, 1902, was a poet, novelist, and playwright. He is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. He famously wrote about the period that “the negro was in vogue”, which was later paraphrased as “when Harlem was in vogue”. (above image from film Looking for Langston)

 

Hughes’s story Blessed Assurance deals with a father’s anger over his son’s effeminacy and “queerness”. The biographer Aldrich argues that, in order to retain the respect and support of black churches and organizations and avoid exacerbating his precarious financial situation, Hughes remained closeted.

 

In 1951 Hughes published one of his most celebrated poems, “Harlem (What happens to a dream deferred?’),” discussing how the American Dream falls short for African Americans.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

During the 1950s and 1960s, he published countless other works, including several books in his “Simple” series, English translations of the poetry of Federico García Lorca and Gabriela Mistral, another anthology of his own poetry, and the second installment of his autobiography, I Wonder as I Wander.

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