Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Introducing Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was the most prominent poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Arguably the most radical American poet before the Second World War, Hughes was the voice of resistance against racism and oppression. Hughes ranks as one of Black America's greatest poets of the 20th Century. Funny, lighthearted and scathing in his social and political commentary, Hughes was a world renowned poet. A nomad by nature, Hughes had endless adventures as he "wondered as he wandered" the globe from New York via Europe through to the USSR and Asia.
Sadly he has been forgotten nearly 45 years after his death at the peak of Civil Rights movement. He was replaced by more radical voices such as James Baldwin, Gil Scott Heron and Umar Bin Hassan. Still, none of the rappers today have the artistic talent, the penetrating insight nor the intellectual capacity of Hughes. His only living rival today is Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Below are a series of very rare recorded recitations of Hughes from 1945. Without further ado, I present Langston Hughes.

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