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1. The Mule-Bone
2. The Ways of White Folks: Stories
3. The Collected Poems of Langston
4. Poetry for Young People: Langston
5. Langston Hughes: Critical Perspectives
6. The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume
7. I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical
8. The Langston Hughes Reader
9. Not Without Laughter (Thrift Edition)
10. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
11. The Big Sea: An Autobiography
12. Black Misery (Iona and Peter Opie
13. The Best of Simple (American Century)
14. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems
15. Coming Home: From the Life of
16. The Poems: 1921-1940 (The Collected
17. A Historical Guide to Langston
18. Five Plays by Langston Hughes
19. The Best Short Stories by Black
20. My People

1. The Mule-Bone
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 36 Pages (2010-07-24)
list price: US$14.14 -- used & new: US$14.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1153714337
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: African Americans/ Literary collections; African Americans; American poetry; Literary Criticism / American / African American; Literary Collections / American / African American; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Well, after reading it.......
Aside from the controversy of the dispute between Hughes and Hurston, I deal with the story and play itself.

The play "Mule Bone" is based on "The Bone of Contention," a 1930 short story by the Queen of Black Folklore (ZNH) based on a folktale from her hometown of Eatonville Fla. about two men who fight over a turkey. One uses a Mule bone to assault the other, and the town's Black Baptists and Methodists split over the issue as Mayor Joe Clarke tries to settle the matter.

The play by Hughes and Hurston is similar, only the two men are now a song and dance team fighting over the affections of a local vamp and an epilogue is added to the ending.

Overall, it's mildly amusing. It does a decent job in capturing some subtleties of Black rural life in 1930 such as the courting rituals and the "dozens" insults between the Black Baptists and Methodists (one Baptist insults a Methodist as a "half-washed Christian." Anyone familiar with the competing theologies will have a good laugh at this one). But those familair with Hurston's work will see a lot of "The Eatonville Anthology" and the later "Mules and Men" here. Nothing really outstanding to the Hurston fan, but worthy of a few chuckles.

However, had this play been performed in 1930, I doubt very seriously that it would have been considered as revolutionary as the authors intended. It would have surely set off a firestorm of controversy. Given the fact that few literate Blacks who attended plays wanted anything to remind them of their rural Southern origins, this play would have been damned and dismissed by the African-American elite and white liberals of the day. While the heavy dialect, the use of the n-word, the casual attitude toward domestic violence, the illiteracy and pompousness of many characters, etc. were realistic aspects of Black rural life at the time, this was a side of Black life that many feared would be exploited by bigots to prevent their inclusion into mainstream society. In fact, I have read where these issues accompanied the play upon its actual performance in 1991.

But even a so-so effort by Hughes and Hurston proves to be far more interesting than many other efforts by others at the time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dramatizing Folklore
We are fortunate that this play was finally produced well over 50 years after it was written.Hurston and Hughes wrote an interesting play that needs a bit of fine tuning in order to be a truly great play.If they had been able to stage this production in the 1930s, the play could have really changed the ways that African-American culture is expressed through musical comedy.One of their great contributions is their use of actual stories and traditional songs from African-American folklore in this play, and the collective ear of Hurston and Hughes in presenting the voices of black people really creates an authentic sound to the dialogue.Unfortunately, disputes between Hurston and Hughes kept them from staging the play, an ironic development since the play is a satiric look at factionalism within a small community.With historical hindsight, this play adds to our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance and the work of two great writers.It's also very much worth reading in relation to Hurston's other writing, especially _Mules and Men_.

... Read more

2. The Ways of White Folks: Stories
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 272 Pages (1990-09-12)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679728171
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In these acrid and poignant stories, Hughes depicted black people colliding--sometimes humorously, more often tragically--with whites in the 1920s and '30s. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars American mythology
A one way mirror wherein the observer is able to see some aspects of a concealed reality.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stories of Difficult Black and White Relations
In 1934, the African American poet Langston Hughes (1902 -- 1967) published his first collection of short stories, "The Ways of White Folks", all of which have as a theme the strong force of racial prejudice.The stories show how even the behavior toward black Americans of well-meaning, liberal white Americans in the 1930s had a racist and patronizing tone.The stories are told with a mixture of irony,humor, and sarcasm.They are written with a brisk style, with the attention to rhythm, precise speech, and the telling detail that mark Hughes as a poet. The stories show the difficulties that Hughes believed stood in the way of racial relationships of equality.Yet Hughes qualifies the title of his collection in the motto for the book, to mean "some" white folks. Hughes quotes from his character Berry in one of the stories of the collection.Aware that he is being patronized, exploited and underpaid in his work at a home for disabled children, Berry says:

"the ways of white folks, I mean some white folks, is too much for me.I reckon they must be a few good ones, but most of 'em aint' good -- leastwise they don't treat me good.And Lawd knows, I aint' never done nothin' to 'em, nothin' a-tall."

The fourteen stories in this collection are set in varying parts of the United States, Midwest, East, and South, and involve individuals of varying economic and educational levels.Many of the stories involve themes of sexuality or of music. The most famous and probably the best of the stories is the first one in the book, "Cora Unashamed".This story is set in a small town in South Dakota.The title character is a member of the only black family in town and she has worked for years as a maid for a white family, the Studevants, who treat her with indifference.Cora has a strong sense of pride in herself and in her sexuality.As a young woman she had a child out of wedlock with a white man, the only lover she ever had. The child died as an infant. Cora remembers the man, the affair and the child with love and pride. When the young Studevant daughter finds herself pregnant by a young foreign-born man in town whom she loves, Cora comforts and supports her and bluntly breaks the news to her parents.The Studevants want nothing of the baby and take the girl to have an abortion which proves fatal. At the funeral, Cora rises to speak: "They killed you! And for nothin'... They killed your child.... They took you away from here in the Springtime of your life, and now you'se gone, gone, gone!"Cora lives the rest of her life alone, with her family on the outskirts of the town.

Two of the stories in the collection, "Home" and "The Blues I'm Playing" center upon black Americans with a deep involvement in both classical music and in jazz and blues. These stories show Hughes' love for all forms of music and his understanding of the classics, as well as of the blues.Music works in these stories as a figure to show what black and white Americans share and also what deeply divides them. Both the stories are rewarding, but I will discuss only the first of them, called "Home".

In "Home" a young man, Roy, returns to his small midwestern town in Missouri after several years spent in Europe.He has been playing his violin at cabarets during the evening to support his study ofclassical violin with the finest teachers during the day. Upon his return, with his Europeanized dress and manners and his musical gift the white people of the town mock Roy. Both white and black people, however, are moved by a concert of classical music he gives at a local church -- for most of them it marked their first exposure to classical music.An elderly white music teacher at the local high school recognizes Roy's talent and has him play his violin for the students at the all-white school. One evening, when Roy and the teacher meet by chance downtownn late in the evening and exchange some words about music, thepassersby assume a rape is about to take place and brutally assault and lynch him.The story concludes "And when the white folks left his brown body, stark naked, strung from a tree at the edge of town, it hung there all night, like a violin for the wind to play."

Other stories in the collection that I thought particularly good are "Passing" in which a young man on his way up refuses to acknowledge his African American mother, "Red-Headed Baby" which discusses an experience between a young white sailor and a woman in in a brothel, "Berry", which I mentioned earlier, and "One Christmas Eve", a story about an African American domestic and the ill treatment meted out to her and her young son.

The message of these stories remain important to contemporary American life.Hughes' writing raises these stories to the level of literature.

Robin Friedman

5-0 out of 5 stars favorite writter
I first read this book in Jr. High and thought I would love to go back down memory lane, its even better as an adult to fully grasp his meanings of the times. It depicts what it was like back in the old hard days for our people, yet it has his great sense of humor on display.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for any Langston Hughes Reader!
I'm not a short story person but I was a assigned this book for my Harlem Renaissance Class years ago at Rutgers. I just recently read his classic short story, "THank You, MAm" which by the way isn't in this book. I loved "Cora Unashamed," "Slave on the Block," "Home," Passing," others also are "A Good Job Gone," "A Rejuvenation Through Joy," "The Blues I'm Playing," "Red-Headed Baby," "Poor Little Black Fellow," "Little Dog," "Berry," "Mother and Child," "One Christmas Eve," and "Father and Son." Surprisingly Thank You, Mam was not included in this anthology of Hughes' short stories. This book should be used in the classroom. Short Stories are usually short, sweet, and capture something that we might miss. In this book, Hughes' observations are keen and certainly interesting about life in New York City and the uneasy relationship between races. We hope that life has changed for the better for people from all walks of life. I was particularly surprised by the whites' attitudes towards blacks like the patronization. Nobody likes to be patronized and treated as inferior.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
This book of short stories is my all time favorite. It is definitely a classic. ... Read more

3. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 736 Pages (1995-10-31)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679764089
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This generous volume is a genuine literary milestone, the first comprehensive collection of the verse of a writer who has been called both the poet laureate of African America and our greatest popular poet since Walt Whitman. The book contains 860 poems, including all the verse that Hughes published during his lifetime, and nearly 300 that have never before appeared in book form. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering Langston Hughes
I have rediscovered Langston Hughes. I had read his famous poems--"I, Too" and "A Negro Speaks of Rivers" and "Harlem"--and even taught them in class. I appreciated his poems and his loose, jazzy interpretation of rhyme and meter--playing with it instead of abandoning it like so many Modernists did. But based on my limited selection, I found him unsubtle and a bit preachy.

I take it all back, I swear.

Thumbing through an anthology, I came across "Old Walt" without realizing it was Hughes':

Old Walt Whitman
Went finding and seeking,
Finding less than sought
Seeking more than found,
Every detail minding
Of the seeking or the finding.

Pleasured equally
In seeking as in finding,
Each detail minding,
Old Walt went seeking
And finding.

I liked it; I liked how it played with rhyme and repetition, enjoying itself but not taking itself to seriously, not droning. It almost had the feel of a triolet--maybe a jazz triolet. Then I saw it was by Langston Hughes, and, surprised, began to read other poems of his I had never read before.

One thing that I enjoy are his little sketches of Harlem life. Hughes often writes in the voice of a character or includes dialogue.

Put on yo' red silk stockings,
Black gal.
Go out an' let de white boys
Look at yo' legs.

He plays his authorial cards close to his chest. We aren't told what to think--only what to see and hear. He keeps his rhyme and meter loose and incorporates it subtlety and effortlessly into the scenarios he paints:

Copper's whistle!
Patrol bell!

Precinct Station.
Iron cell.
Headlines in press:


And part of his playing with language extends to letting you finish lines in your head, or switching them suddenly. I've seen this used as a petty gag in some light verse, but look at this:

Dream Boogie

Good morning, daddy!
Ain't you heard
The boogie-woogie rumble
Of a dream deferred?
Listen closely:
You'll hear their feet
Beating out and beating out a--

You think
It's a happy beat?

Listen to it closely:
Ain't you heard
something underneath
like a--

What did I say?

I'm happy!
Take it away!
Hey, pop!

The interplay between two voices, what is said and left unsaid, the way he sets up the unspoken lines, the ambiguity... I love it. Though the mop confuses me.

One more poem now. I can't believe I had never read this one.

Frederick Douglass: 1817-1895

Douglass was someone who,
Had he walked with wary foot
And frightened tread,
From very indecision
Might be dead,
Might have lost his soul,
But instead decided to be bold
And capture every street,
On which he set his feet,
To route each path
Toward freedom's goal,
To make each highway
Choose his compass' choice
To all the world cried,
Hear my voice!...
Oh, to be a beast, a bird,
Anything but a slave! he said.

Who would be free
Themselves must strike
The first blow, he said.

He died in 1895.

He is not dead.

What I love about it most is the building energy that lands with a resounding crash on the last lines. For that ending to work, for those last four words to resonate like they do, requires a perfect convergence of sound and ideas. This just goes to show that the success of a poem lies in its sound, even when we read it silently. A "prose poem" is no kind of poem at all, and when free verse works, it works because it nevertheless uses sound skillfully, as skillfully as a jazz player, though following no set pattern, uses pitch, rhythm, intonation and phrasing. Langston Hughes does jazz with words, with perfect blend of intellect and emotion.

Zach Hudson

5-0 out of 5 stars A complete collection
This is a complete collection of Langston Hughes' poems, which makes it a very valuable edition for fans of Hughes. Other than the poems listed in the three appendices (poems circulated by the Associated Negro Press; poetry for children; and thematic poems) they are arranged by decade, which makes it possible to see Hughes' poetic development in the almost fifty years that he was publishing.

At the end of the collection are an index of poems by name, and by first line. Included also are an introduction, a chronology of the life of Langston Hughes, and notes on each poem, listing their publication details and commenting on the changes that Hughes sometimes made in subsequent publications. The introduction is insightful in that it recognizes Hughes' popular appeal while not wishing to downplay his unique and valuable lived experience as an African American poet: "Langston Hughes never sought to be all things to all people but rather aimed to create a body of work that epitomized the beauty and the variety of the African American and the American experiences, as well as the diversity of emotions, thoughts, and dreams that he saw common to all human beings." This ability to critique social injustice and express himself powerfully and individually, as a black man, without losing hope for the future of his nation is a lasting credit to Hughes' character.

Many of Hughes' poems are best savored when spoken aloud, not least because significant words or phrases are often repeated. This is performance poetry, influenced by the spoken word, the free spirit of jazz, and so it has a rhythm and a living quality that might be missed if readers are not attentive to the mode of the presentation. The poems are enduring not first for their complexity of style, but for their complexity of emotion, and their experimentation, immediacy, and precision of language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry of Langston Hughes
Great book and a great voice. It's better than a History Textbook in the times of the Black struggle during the 30's and 40's. I recommend it strongly for anyone who wants to teach or study modern Black History .

5-0 out of 5 stars Projection deferred?
Maybe I'm just hopeful on this day, but this seemed like as good a time as any to review this book. While some are dated and some are time-capsule, many of the best poems collected herein (all the poems that were published during his lifetime) are nearly as relevant today as the day they were written. Now we as a nation place enough emphasis on class and wallet capacity that we're more often (in the systemic sense) willing to look past skincolor (so long as the checks clear) that things have certainly changed, but you'll still hear the ring of today's truth in many of these poems. Because Langston commented on so many of the topical events of his day, this book can be seen as history via poetry... as filtered through Langston's lense, of course.

For as right on as are Projection, I, Too, Wealth, Wisdom and War, Advertisement for the Waldorf-Astoria, etc..., one can't help but wonder while reading his poems praising Stalin how much Langston knew of the Great Purge or the Ukranian famine. Then again, The Gulag Archipelago Volume 1: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (P.S.) had not come out yet, so I don't know what other means of access he'd have had back then. Still, this is what history is. Direct hits and misfires. Rights and wrongs. For better and for worse, Langston's poems are poetry, history and commentaries on history.

Langston was so clearly a music lover that I often think of his poems in musical terms, especially the ones he wrote nearly as small musicals, like The Black Clown, The Big-Timer and the whole Ask Your Mama/12 Moods for Jazz section. If I had big money, one of my major contributions to the arts would be to commission William Parker (of Corn Meal Dance, Mayor of Punkville, O'Neal's Porch, Raining on the Moon, etc...) to do whatever it is he wants with any of these poems that he wants, whether they be the ones that already have musical guidance from Langston or not. These works could and should be brought back into people's lives in a larger way.

There are many kinds of poets. Some are concerned with language for language's sake. Langston was not one of those poets. Langston was in the family of Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan, America, My Brother, My Blood / América, mi hermano, mi sangre: A Latin American Song of Suffering and Resistance (Ocean Sur) (Spanish Edition) and The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde poets. Masters of The Word? Yes, but only so far as the word can help lift up or bring the best of human truths to rise forth.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Words
Langston Hughes: Poet, truth-teller, gifted wordsmith who can cover both the sacred and profane. A fighter, a dreamer, a student, a sailor. He speaks to everyone, any color or creed. He speaks to oppressed people who will never give up. He speaks to me, and to you. He speaks loudly and clearly, with a unique, indelible hand. His poems and stories stand tall...his defiance and dignity remains an inspiration to anyone who has had a "dream deferred", but "gathers out of cloud-dust, storm-dust, and splinters of hail, one handful of dream-dust, not for sale".

The Last Feast of Belshazzar (Langston Hughes)
The jeweled entrails of pomegranetes
Bled on the marble floor
The jewel-heart of a virgin broke at the
golden door
The laughter of a drunken lord hid the sob
of a silken whore
wrote a strange hand
Mene Tekel Upharsin,-
And death stood at the door ... Read more

4. Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes
Hardcover: 48 Pages (2006-04-28)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1402718454
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Sterling proudly announces an exciting and vibrant addition to Poetry for Young People: The first African-American themed book in the series, featuring the poems of the extraordinary Langston Hughes. Edited by the two leading experts on Hughes’s work, and illustrated by the brilliant Benny Andrews, this very special volume is one to treasure forever.
A much-requested book that was years in the making…and well worth the wait. One of the central figures in the Harlem Renaissance—the flowering of black culture that took place in the 1920s and 30s—Langston Hughes captured the soul of his people, and gave voice to their concerns about race and social justice. His magnificent and powerful words still resonate today: that’s why it’s so important for young people to have access to his poems. Now they do, in a splendid volume edited and illustrated by a top-caliber team who are simply the best in their fields.
The introduction, biography, and annotations come from Arnold Rampersad, a Professor and Dean at Stanford University, who has written The Life of Langston Hughes, and David Roessel, co-editor with Professor Rampersad of The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes and editor of the Langston Hughes collection in Knopf’s Everyman series. Benny Andrews—a painter, printmaker, and arts advocate whose work is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian, among others—has created gallery-quality illustrations that pulse with energy and add rich dimension to the poems.
Among the anthologized poems are Hughes’s best-known and most loved works: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”; “Aunt Sue’s Stories”; “Danse Africaine”; “Mother to Son”; “My People”; “Words Like Freedom”; “Harlem”; and “I, Too”—his sharp, pointed response to Walt Whitman’s earlier “I Hear America Singing.”
Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes is a publishing event for all to celebrate.
A Selection of the Scholastic Book Club.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Young Readers Book Club of Conyers Review
We found his poems to be fascinating, and descriptive.We learned a lot about his history.He expresses himself very well.He believes in what he writes about and our group found the material to be very interesting and challenging.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two for the Price of One
This book is not just for young people--it's a deal for young and old. The poignant poetry is complemented by the emotive artwork. Rossel and Rampersad are scholars of Hughes, and their choice of Benny Andrews as illustrator is brillant. The images, the colors, the ideas, and the sounds intertwine. I bought this for my students, but my friends and I have been enjoying it immensely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent tool to teach literary concepts!
My co-teacher and I have used this book to introduce poetry from the Harlem Renaissance.We have also used it to have our high school students (juniors) practice forming literary concepts such as symbolism, exaggeration, irony, analogy, and labeling.There are great images that accompany this book, and it has aided our students (special education through AP/Honors level) in making those connections.As a follow-up activity, we gave our students poetry from the Harlem Renaissance and had them create their own visuals/political cartoons illustrating those literary concepts.

This book would be great a great teaching tool for teachers from middle school through high school, as well as parents who want to introduce some richer African American poetry to their children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gift for young man
I purchased this book and others, for a youngman age 15years, for his birthday.He requested books from me as a gift, that is books of Langston Hughes, which he knew that from past gifts over the years, I prefer to give books as a gift.

I am sure that he is enjoying these books, I will hear from him again next year I am sure, when the next birthday rolls around, and that will be fine with me, for then I will buy him more books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Harlem's best
If you're a Langston Hughes fan, you'll appreciate this book.It's meant for any age, and the illustrations make it even more friendly for children.I am using the book in studying the Harlem Renaissance with my students, and it does a great job.It makes it fun to study one of Harlem's biggest stars. ... Read more

5. Langston Hughes: Critical Perspectives Past And Present (Amistad Literary Series)
by Henry L. Gates
Paperback: 272 Pages (1993-07-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1567430295
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
James Langston Hughes
(1902 -- 1967)

With a career that spanned the Harlem Renaissance of the twenties and Black Arts movement of the sixties, Langston Hughes was the most prolific Black poet of his era. Between 1926, when he published his pioneering The Weary Blues, to 1967, the year of his death, when he published The Panther and the Lash, Hughes would write sixteen books of poems, two novels, seven collections of short stories, two autobiographies, five works of nonfiction, and nine children's books; he would edit nine anthologies of poetry, folklore, short fiction, and humor. He also translated Jaques Roumain, NicolÁs GuillÉn, Gabriela Mistral, Federico Garcia Lorca, and write at least thirty plays. It is not surprising that Hughes was known, variously, as "Shakespeare in Harlem" and as the "poet laureate of the American Negro."

-- from the Preface by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Indepth Study of Genius!!
Louis Gates, Jr. and al, is part of the Amistad Literary Series on African Americans authors of noted literary fame and skill.As the title suggest, this particular installment discusses the some of the work of Langston Hughes.

The book is divided into to sections, excluding the introduction.The first section cover contemporary reviews giving during Hughes' lifetime.As the introduction notes, the reviews are "drawn from magazines, journals, and newspapers from the mainstream and African American press."Noted reviewers include the main rival of Hughes during the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance, Countee Cullen, and one of the Renaissance's midwives, Jessie Fauset, both reviewing the WEARY BLUES.Cullen criticizes Hughes on being to much a Negro poet instead of just a poet in the Euro-centric sense and its attending influences.Cullen does offer Hughes praise here and there, but for the most part his taste contrasts sharply with Hughes resolutely Afro-centric/racial pride that would form the basis of a lifetime of the bulk of work composed by Hughes despite his being well read in the works of European authors in additon to those of African decent. Reviews of Hughes work to follow are by Sterling Brown, Richard Wright, J. Saunders Redding, Carl Van Vechten,and other lesser known figures lost to history.Sherwood Anderson reviews THE WAYS OF WHITE FOLKS where he feels Hughes may have
been a little to harsh in his depiction of white folks. Considering the all to often negative depiction of black folks in the various arts of the day, at lease Hughes put a more human
face on white folks, an act seldom accorded to black folks in literature by whites of that same time frame.James Baldwin provides the most caustic review of Hughes by way of Hughes SELECTED POEMS.The review hurt and angered Hughes to the point that Hughes never really liked Baldwin to much again.Later in Baldwin's life, he confessed his regret over his review and attested to Hughes' genius.

The second half of the book covers essays written by scholars on Hughes' varied pieces of work.The essays are comprehensive and well written to the point that a simple review cannot do them justice.Instead, one must simply take the time to read each one or each one of interest to him or her.There are tenessays in all of varying length.For me, three interesting ones were those by Arnold Rampersad, Steven Tracy,Raymond Smith, and
Maryemma Graham.Rampersad cites FINE CLOTHES TO THE JEW as representing Hughes at his very best and one never really equaled again by him.Steven Tracy covers the blues influence on the work of Hughes in-depth.Raymond Smith looks at aspects of the life of Hughes in relation to his work.Of note is the fact that Langston Hughes has more in common with blacks of the post integration period and its realities because of the "somewhat" integrated high school he attended as a teenager.Also, mention is made of Hughes steadfast racial pride, the solidarity despite the contrast in realities of blood history between the average African American to the pure blooded African, and Hughes opinion of whites in general, i.e. some being okay (covered in Rampersad's LIFE OF HUGHES Vol. 2.).Maryemma Graham argues that by focusing on the black working class in his literature,Hughes transcended racial subject matter specifically to become a social/proletarian artist in the universal sense.Moreover, Hughes did not adhere to strict socialist doctrine.Rather, he imbued and formed it around the realities of the African American experience to reach this universality.This significant and important characteristic is often ignored or forgotten when discussing the work of Langston Hughes, both poetry and stories, during the 1930s and 40s. As it otherwise existed, the predominantly white dominated left of his day was marred by a degree on general racism in the U.S. that largely ignored or failed to consider the black experience.

This book is quick to praise Arnold Rampersad's two definitive biographies of Langston Hughes.Arnold Rampersad's extremely exhaustive research is represented here in CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES making this and excellent companion to the biographies for anyone able and willing to take time to read this book along side Rampersad's biographies. ... Read more

6. The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902-1941, I, Too, Sing America (Life of Langston Hughes, 1902-1941)
by Arnold Rampersad
Paperback: 528 Pages (2002-01-10)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$21.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195146425
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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February 1, 2002 marks the 100th birthday of Langston Hughes. To commemorate the centennial of his birth, Arnold Rampersad has contributed new Afterwords to both volumes of his highly-praised biography of this most extraordinary and prolific American writer.
In young adulthood Hughes possessed a nomadic but dedicated spirit that led him from Mexico to Africa and the Soviet Union to Japan, and countless other stops around the globe. Associating with political activists, patrons, and fellow artists, and drawing inspiration from both Walt Whitman and the vibrant Afro-American culture, Hughes soon became the most original and revered of black poets. In the first volume's Afterword, Rampersad looks back at the significant early works Hughes produced, the genres he explored, and offers a new perspective on Hughes's lasting literary influence.
Exhaustively researched in archival collections throughout the country, especially in the Langston Hughes papers at Yale University's Beinecke Library, and featuring fifty illustrations per volume, this anniversary edition will offer a new generation of readers entrance to the life and mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest artists.Amazon.com Review
Rampersad, one of our foremost African-American scholars, isan apt biographer for Hughes (1902-67), our greatest black poet.I, Too, Sing America (volume 1) covers the years during whichHughes produced his best work and was most politically active; IDream a World (volume 2) chronicles his artistic decline due tooverwork in= response to perpetual financial difficulties. Bothvolumes are psychologically astute, critically penetrating andmasterful in their intermingling of Hughes' story with a chronicle ofthe enormous changes that took place in black America during hislifetime. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars No Longer Afraid of Research
I learned that research can be used as a blessing and a way of connecting readers to life sustaining knowledge. Thank you Professor Rampersad for writing this book! Now I know what a great American Langston Hughes was and why he had so much influence over other writers such as Alice Walker, Ralph Ellison, and Arna Bontemps, Claude Mckay, Dorothy West, and too many more to list.

Hughes was a world traveler and activist in addition to being a innovative writer of poems, essays, plays, and fiction, and a very respected member of the Harlem Renaissance of literature.

He travelled to Russia, Italy, Germany, West Africa, and Cuba while he was poor, young and colored.Hughes lived in Mexico and Paris, Harlem and San Franscisco. He was a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War and personally knew many of the influential artists of his day.

Langston Hughes struggled to figure out if his work should be commercial or radical. He made some mistakes in his judgement of people and politics along the way, but somehow he always recovered. Unfortunately Hughes never did have much money despite all the work he contributed to the American canon, but he lived a magnificent, rich and full life.

What an outstanding American! I think this book should be required reading for all high schoolers. I cannot wait to read Volume II.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Man That Poetry Made: Celebrating Langston Hughes (Feb 1, 1902-May 22, 1967)

The man that poetry made stands luminous
on the broken corners of history's suicidal cravings,
he watches splashing in the street
birds cleaning their feathers inside
the crystal flow of words he gave them,

he is a vintage wine now,
traveling with ease over the tongues
of other people's intentions,
he is a quilt
made of one billion black hands
spread like guarantees from a single living God
over the heads of the misbegotten.

The man that poetry made wonders
on which day will he finally recite his soul.
Ask him who his mother is
and he will sing for you memories
of bosom-heavy haikus
filling his mouth with the milk and nectar
of joy neverdying.
Ask about his father
and he will boast about a ballad
that thundered all the way
from Spain to Zaire
bouncing him like a sack full of sonnets
upon his broad whistling shoulders.

This man that poetry made stumbles barefoot
through the city, a huge blue ribbon wrapped
around one big toe, a small pink one tied
to the other, ragged jeans loose
upon free-verse hips, fluorescent eyes blinking
surrealistic kisses of negritude revisited--

To the woman confused
by his lust for peace
he begs "forgive me lovely genius
I was not born as you were born,
my blood was written
by a different kind of coupling."
To the man frustrated
by his lack of animalia
he sang, "Beauty is a thing finer
than exalted fears of actual love."

The man that poetry made sometimes
blows himself to pieces with bombs
made from metaphors, he enjoys watching
the words that shape his life
scatter like golden ashes of imagination
then one by one float back down to earth
covering him with forms and meanings
he never knew existed.
People passing the corner
where he stands luminous and throbbing
rarely see a man at all.
They look at the man that poetry made
and see a public toilet
or a burning bush flaming in the most unlikely place.
Sometimes they see him as a rare jewel
and snatch him up before anyone else
can look.He is always curious riding along
inside the pockets of strangers
wondering how they shall react
when they see him for what he is,
and he reveals, with
love lighting up his every cell
exactly who they are.

by Author-Poet Aberjhani
author of I Made My Boy Out of Poetry
and Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (Facts on File Library of American History)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read
Long before the advent of the 1960's motto of black pride and black beauty, there was Langston Hughes who championed and celebrated black pride and black beauty, both African and black American, at the height racial inequality in the United States.

The two definitive biographies of Langston Hughes are written by Faith Berry, LANGSTON HUGHES: BEFORE AND BEYOND HARLEM, and, the two by Arnold Rampersad's, THE LIFE OF LANGSTON HUGHES VOLS. 1 AND 2.For those able to do it, I would recommend reading Berry's biography first and then DEFINITLY follow it by reading Rampersad two exquisite biographies of Hughes.Reading the two is the only real way to get a complete and accurate picture of Langston Hughes.Both books briefly address Hughes family background which isn't unique to him alone in the black American community as those non-persons of African decent on the outsiderepeatedly fail to understand. Both books address Hughes' humanity despite of the racism he faced as an extremely confident and proud African-American.Both acknowledge Hughes dislike of those blacks like Toomer ashamed of being black and their African heritage. Both reveal his living through all the moments in early 20th century American history like the Harlem Renaissance and meeting and befriending such figures as Dubois and facing McCarthy on charges of communism while punctuated moments of his life with wanderlust in world travels.Both books address the obstacles and triumphs he faced as being only the second black American to earn a living by writing , the first being Paul Lawrence Dunbar who was also Hughes idol and influence alongside Whitman and Sandburg.Both books take care to explain how Hughes relationships with his parents and grandmother may have shadowed his other relationships in terms ofhis race pride and the half hearted and insincere assignationswith women he was linked to.

Where the two books differ is in discussing Hughes being gay.Berry appears unbridled by prejudice in acknowledging use as gay.Rampersad, a conservative black scholar and now part executor of the Hughes estate, is too eagerly fulsome in his attempts to deny Hughes being gay along with the coded references Hughes used to describe his affections for black men in poems which are similar to those used by Whitman in describing his same sex interest.This dangerously borders the homophobic line. (** READ the recent appendix in Rampersad biography where he rightfully takes issue with being called homophobic by his critics.**) This has been the chief criticism by many of Rampersad two biographies of Hughes.The great irony is that Rampersad actually confirms Hughes being gay by indicating the price Hughes would have paid if he was openly identified as gay atthe wrong time in history (even in some circles of the black community today for that matter).Plus, in volume 2 of the LIFE OF HUGHES, Rampersad is less virulent in denying Hughes being gay and pretty much comes close to acknowledging him being gay but holds back for reasons of
his own.

Moreover, Berry discusses Hughes in a straight foreword manner.Rampersad biography is almost lyrical in its historical documentation of Hughes life like a number of biographies being written these days by certain scholars. Rampersad goes into great psychological analysis of Hughes and barring certain before mentioned instances gets it right.

5-0 out of 5 stars Passionate, cruel, Honey-lipped, syphilitic
"'The Africans looked at me and would not believe I was a Negro': ...
`You - white man'," they said. Repudiating the idea that he was not one of them,
Hughes asserted "the unity of blacks everywhere." Hughes' choice to embrace
his African-American heritage is a major theme of Rampersad's biography.
Hughes rejected his father's path and the chance to pass, to escape prejudice
and win easy acceptance as a member of Mexican society. Poetic inspiration
came from Harlem, from Jazz, and from anger at prejudice. Despite, or because of
its format, with chapters divided by years, this book made riveting summer reading.
Along the way it introduced me to wonderful poetry in the context of the life:
Mercedes is a jungle-lily in a death house.
Mercedes is a doomed star.
Mercedes is a charnel rose. ... ----
Passionate, cruel,
Honey-lipped, syphilitic -
That is the South.
And I, who am black, would love her
But she spits in my face . . .

5-0 out of 5 stars Rampersad at his best!!
This is the most complete writing on Hughes' life.Beautifully written yet very thorough.Arnold Rampersad is probably the most talented biographer alive. ... Read more

7. I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey (American Century Series)
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 406 Pages (1993-08-01)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809015501
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In I Wonder as I Wander, Langston Hughes vividly recalls the most dramatic and intimate moments of his life in the turbulent 1930s.

His wanderlust leads him to Cuba, Haiti, Russia, Soviet Central Asia, Japan, Spain (during its Civil War), through dictatorships, wars, revolutions. He meets and brings to life the famous and the humble, from Arthur Koestler to Emma, the Black Mammy of Moscow. It is the continuously amusing, wise revelation of an American writer journeying around the often strange and always exciting world he loves.
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars food for your soul
Mr. Hughes brings a zen like quality to his stories regarding his life and what he was forced to endure.He persevered, triumphed and soared.If you want to feel at peace with yourself this is a book to help you get there.Mr. Hughes is a role model that we should be glad we have.a gracious kind compassionate human.imho ;>)

5-0 out of 5 stars A travel journey
Mr. Hughes, in my opinion, is the best African American writer, whom describes the life as a balck man traveling throughout the world. This book is poignant and evokes a sense constant despair and the writer confronts different predjudice throughout the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars this should be on required reading lists everywhere!!
As the sequel to "The Big Sea", Mr.Hughes again speaks the language of a poet so well that he makes the reading of his life seem like a first-person experience. After his travels on several ships and the taste of his first successes(and failures), he simply explores and writes: of Paris, Russia, and Cuba, and shares his experiences with the reader. His writing is so rich and vivid that he makes every location in the world seem like poetry in motion. This book and "The Big Sea" should definitely be on reading lists everywhere-or, if you have a friend or relative who feels like they're a "wandering spirit", these books would make great gifts. Mr.Hughes touches on everything human: from the strained relationship with his father to the blatant racism he encounters everyday; to the women he becomes fond of and his neverending thirst for experience and knowledge; to the countless sights of wonder in the world that one never sees when they are ignorant. Beautiful writing by a true poet.

5-0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT,EYE OPENING

8. The Langston Hughes Reader
by Langston Hughes
 Hardcover: 502 Pages (1981-07)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$13.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807600571
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Overview of a Great Writer's Work
This is a great for every reader.It's a book you can and will read from again AND AGAIN.Hughes' diverse body of work is well represented here. The works, like his career, span decades and reflect the passage of time.

The book is full of terrific Hughes pieces. Humor, political commentary, current events.There's something for everybody. Hughes' work is always engaging and always interesting.He deals with questions that remain vibrant today.Even when addressing serious or dark topics, Hughes' intellect, curiosity, and wit bring light to the reader. Buy it now!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Premier Spokesman for a People
No other writer in America has been as "on-the-mark" with the pulse of Black America than Langston Hughes.Sometimes humerous, often touching, but, most often, hard-hitting and reflective, Hughes wrote fromhis experience as well as the experiences of what it is to be black inAmerica.All of his significant works are here: the "Simplestories," the epic "Montage to a Dream Deferred," poemsdesigned chiefly for children, plus articles and speeches made in his lateryears.

The book is a must for those who appreciate well-crafted prose andpoetry.

Hughes ranks up there with Shakespeare, Hugo, Poe, and others asone of the giants of literature. ... Read more

9. Not Without Laughter (Thrift Edition)
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 224 Pages (2008-04-04)
list price: US$4.50 -- used & new: US$2.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486454487
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

A leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, poet Hughes wrote only one novel — but it is an incredibly powerful and moving work. This 1930s coming-of-age tale, which unfolds amid an African-American family in rural Kansas, explores the dilemmas of life in a racially divided society.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing but Love
"There ain't no room in this world fo' nothing' but love, Sandy chile.That's all they's room fo' -- nothin' but love."

In the above passage, Aunt Hager Williams gives her thoughts on the slavery she experienced in her youth to her young grandson, Sandy (James) Williams in the climactic chapter of Langston Hughes's remarkable coming-of age novel "Not Without Laughter" (1930).The novel offers a picture of African American life in a fictitious Kansas town, modelled on Lawrence, beginning in about 1911 and concluding with the end of WW I in 1918."Nothing but Love" is a fitting summation of the book as a whole.

Hughes' partially autobiographical novel tells the story of young Sandy Williams between the ages of 9 -- 16, and Sandy and his family are the main characters. The boy's aging grandmother, Hager, is the titular head of the family and inspires the boy with her ambitions for him to make something of his life. She earns money for the family by washing clothes for white people. Hagar's daughter and Sandy's mother, Anjee, works as a domestic for a demanding white family.She is married to Jimboy, an itinerant guitarist and singer who spends little time at home but rather wanders throughout the country looking for work. Hager has two other daughters. Tempy Siles has made a successful marriage, moved into the black middle class, and tends to look down upon the rest of the family. The young daughter, Harriet, has a restless streak. She dislikes white people and religion and spends a great deal of time singing and dancing in disreputable parts of the town. After a time as a prostitute, she succeeds as a blues singer.

The novel tells the story of how Sandy learns from his family and from other largely African American people in the town and, in the final scenes of the book, in Chicago.The book and its plot begin slowly, but I soon was engaged with the lives of the characters.Hughes gives a rare realistic and enthusiastic look at African American life during the early 20th Century in its variety, difficulty, and hope.There is, of course, great emphasis on the pervasive discrimination African Americans suffered in the American midwest, as most of the institutions in Kansas enforced rigid segregation and discrimination and most of the whites had racist attitudes.But there was much hope and strength in the African American community as well. Sandy receives his greatest inspiration from the strong Aunt Hager who speaks in dialect, as do many of the characters, is deeply religious, and wants Sandy to make a contribution to uplift the race. Hager is an admirer of Booker Washington. Sandy is exposed to the world of learning from Tempy, who raises the boy after Anjee leaves the family to live with her wandering hustand and after Hager dies. Tempy is an admirer of DuBois, but she presses Sandy in the direction of rejecting the African American culture which the young boy, and Hughes, are unwilling to do.

Besides the emphasis on educational uplift, there is much in Sandy's world of guitar playing, music, the blues, and poetry, as songs such as "St. Louis Blues", "Easy Rider" "John Henry" and many more get a great deal of attention and quotation. The book is in the language of poetry and dialect. Scenes take place in dance halls, barber shops, carnivals, and pool halls, as well as in schools, churches and the home.The town "bottoms" -- the home of prostitutes and gamblers -- is described as the only location in the community that is free from race discrimination. The book describes the importance, and frequent repression of sexuality, in the budding awareness of Sandy, and in the experiences of the other characters. Hughes offers a complex and varied perspective on African American life. He emphasizes the importance of knowledge and empowerment. He also treasures the distinctive features of African American life in its poetry, dance, and music and emphasis on family. He suggests to me that African American life can develop its own culture without merely adopting that of white America. The overall tone is one of laughter, love, and forgiveness.

Hughes' novel won the Harmon Gold Medal in 1930, a prize awarded between 1925 -- 1930 for high achievement in African American art and literature. The novel is not as well known today as it deserves to be.It is a precious story of African American life and of growing up.

Robin Friedman

5-0 out of 5 stars A fabulous coming of age novel - with a young, black, probaby queer, point of view
The Lesbian and Gay book discussion group at the NYC LGBT Center read this book in Feb 2010.

I enjoyed the book and thought that everyone else would, too. It's a great coming of age story, but I was amazed at how much we found to discuss: the characters (although there was some complaint that they are a bit flat and unchanging - other than the narrator), the position of Blacks in 1920 Kansas and today, the role of music, the prominent place that the church played in the Black community, the perception of light-colored Blacks versus darker colored Blacks, Black history in the US, and how the middle-class Blacks looked down on the lower-class Blacks. We thought that young people might enjoy reading this novel - it's seemingly written for a "young adult" audience -- but some of the matter-of-fact discussion of prostitution and sex may get it banned from conservative schools.

Some thought that the novel ended a bit quickly and brightly -- pointing toward the best (but perhaps unrealistic) future for the young narrator. There are so many tragedies and sad events throughout the novel, it's hard to believe that they'll all be overcome so quickly.

I assumed that Langston Hughes was gay, but there may be some doubt about that classification (It's in the Wikipedia - so it must be true.) He never joined the Communist Party, and while he wrote some homoerotic poetry and a couple of short stories with characters we would today call "gay," Hughes never presented himself as gay. The narrator of "Not Without Laughter" is young, but we identified him as a queer in early 20th Century America.

It's a great book club selection - for gay or straight, Black or white, youngish or older readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great seller!
The book came quickly and was in the promised shape. Will definitely but from this seller in the future.

3-0 out of 5 stars Slow to Warm
Book was interesting and provided a genuine sense of life for blacks during the early part of this century.It started slow but towards the middle of the book the pace picked up and I enjoyed it more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, heartbreaking yet redemptive novel
This is a fine novel written at a time of overt racial discrimation about members of a family surviving the best way they could. It does have great relevance to the 21st century because although much has changed (this was the pre-civil rights period), much still needs to be changed. This book should be required high school or college reading. ... Read more

10. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 320 Pages (1990-09-12)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067972818X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The poems in this volume were chosen by Hughes himself shortly before his death in 1967 and encompass work from his entire career. His poetry launched a revolution among black writers in America. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Of greater sociological than literary importance
It seems to me that Hughes' poetry is of greater importance sociologically and historically than aesthetically. His very brief poems in the language of everyday life cover a very wide range of subjects. One feels he is trying to speak for his people, for the black- American experience. And he is speaking of this with sympathy and strong positive identification. He however does this in what is often a low- key and tasteful way. The poems are often of small situations, little vignettes of life or feeling. But what I repeatedly found is that the literary expression was not in some way strong enough. There too is a sense of skimpiness and one- dimensionality in the poems. I feel the poetry is at its best when he speaks in some way for his people as a whole. Here is one outstanding example.

The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people
Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive
This book has so much content.

It is heartfelt poetry assembled in such a way that you can read Hughes mature, experience his joys and frustrations.

He brings a certain political perspective, as well as examinations of time on the human experience.

It's touching someone cared enough to give this to me as a gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars Those Weary Blues, Indeed
Do you want to hear the blues? Do you want to know what the blues are? Then listen to the songs of Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Charley Patton, Son House and that whole crowd that gave us the classic plantation country-driven blues back in the days. And, read the poetry of the artist under review here, Langston Hughes. Oh sure, Brother Hughes has prettified the expressions and the form (although he has also mastered the double-entente, especially in sexual matters, that the previously mentioned artists made into an art form all its own) for a more upscale, literary audience, but he KNOWS the blues. Just check out the section of poems here under the title "Shadow Of The Blues".

Unquestionably, old Langston had his ear to the ground for any and all rumblings coming out of the black community during, roughly, the middle third of the 20th century. From the fearsome, no existence Jim Crow South that blacks were leaving in droves to the semi-Jim Crow North where the complexities of modern life still left the black man and woman down at the bottom of the heap Hughes gives voice to their frustrations and dreams, deferred or otherwise. Despair, luck, no luck, hoping for any luck, once in a while luck. Life on the edge, life on top for a minute, life filled with bumps and bruises. It is all there in this little sampler of his works.

Of course, not all is unrelenting struggle. And Hughes has a high old time with the doings, nothing doings, the to-ing and fro-ing of a Harlem Saturday night (and Sunday morning)...leading to those old Monday blues as developed in the section entitled "After Hours". Here one can hear the post-World War II change in tempo, as well, with the shift in voice from those old time country-driven blues to the be-bop jazz sound of the 1950s.

That, in the end, well almost the end, is the great sense that Hughes possessed and why he still speaks to those of us who are interested in that period of American life, life as led by the working classes and the black working class in particular. But this reviewer, whose book reviews in this space tend to have some political edge to them, would be remiss if he didn't point out here, as he has in the past, his favorite image of Langston Hughes. That was of a photograph of him taken as the editor, during the Spanish Civil War, of the newspaper of the American Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the 15th International Brigade, that band of "premature anti-fascists", organized by the Communist International, who volunteered to fight for the Republican side in Spain. That picture tells more than anything tells the why of the strong effect of Langston Hughes' poetry on me and why he is rightly honored every February during Black History Month.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beauty from Horror.
Langston Hughes' poems makes my knees knock. There is a little thrill with each poem, like I'm landing in a vat of buttermilk, and splashing happily about. With the subject matters he dares tackle one would think it'd be more realistic to walk away from a deluge of his work in deep depression.

Not so.

Instead I walked away with a dreamy smile and knocking knees. His ability to cull the beauty from the horror is...is...is

I'm wordless.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Poet for all people!!!
The SELECTED POEMS of LANGSTON HUGHE by Langston Hughes is exactly what is implied by the title.Absent from these "selected poems" are the more radical and controversial poems written by Hughes in the 1930s.After Hughes was forced to testify before the anti-Communist committee to defend himself, he shied away from the radicalism that so entranced him and other Afro Americans who saw socialism as an better alternative to Jim Crow.

In this selection of his poetry, there is no chronological order to the poems.Rather, they are divided into sections representing a specific theme.Here, Hughes was trying (?) to imitate Walt Whitman in arrangement."Afro-American Fragments," "Feet of Jesus," "Shadow of the Blues," "Sea and Land," absent is the poem written for the Jamaican sailor Ferdinand Smith, SAILOR ASHORE,"Distance Nowhere," "After Hours," "Life is Fine," "Lament over Love," "Magnolia Flowers," "Name in Uphill Letter," "Madam to You," "Montage of a Dream Deferred," and "Words Like Freedom."

The last section of poemsreveal Hughes as a patriot which he actually was in life. Hughes believed in idea of the real USA and what the nation could be without prejudice.The poems I,TOO, DEMOCRACY, AFRICA, CONSIDER ME, REFUGEE IN AMERICA,FREEDOM TRAIN, THE NEGRO MOTHER and so on in this section are indicative of a patriotism despite injustices.

For those interested in a more comprehensive ouvre of Hughes poetry, I strongly recommend the COLLECTED POETRY OF LANGSTON HUGHES edited by Arnold Rampersad and associate editor David Roessel.It contains the most up to date work by Hughes and "all" his "known and published" poems.I purposely emphasized "known and published" because according to some academics there is said to exist unpublished poems of Hughes written to a black male lover that has yet to surface.

Langston Hughes is the poet of black America.His work captures the aspirations, hope, joy, tragedy, anger, and pride of many blacks past and present.But, he is also a poet for the working class man, black and of any race.There is a reason his poems have been translated into many languages and continue to inspire.The other reviews here capture some the essential essence of Hughes spirit. ... Read more

11. The Big Sea: An Autobiography (American Century Series)
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 368 Pages (1993-08-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809015498
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Introduction by Arnold Rampersad.

Langston Hughes, born in 1902, came of age early in the 1920s. In The Big Sea he recounts those memorable years in the two great playgrounds of the decade--Harlem and Paris. In Paris he was a cook and waiter in nightclubs. He knew the musicians and dancers, the drunks and dope fiends. In Harlem he was a rising young poet--at the center of the "Harlem Renaissance."

Arnold Rampersad writes in his incisive new introduction to The Big Sea, an American classic: "This is American writing at its best--simpler than Hemingway; as simple and direct as that of another Missouri-born writer...Mark Twain."
... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Path to Greatness
First of all, I dont think i've ever read a book so fast.
I borrowed a biography of Langstonn Hughes a number of years ago from a relative and started to read it. However, i put it down at some point and never picked it back up... which is what happens to books that take a minute to pick up the pace.
So when i saw this book on here, and i noticed it was an Autobiography (and i read all the reviews) i ordered it. Once i got it and opened it up, it seems like in no time i was done and wanting to know more.

This book is amazing to me, because I am an aspiring writer. And i'm always intrigued to find out what the Literary Legends Path to Greatness was. And i was so pleased to read this book, because Hughes' path was in ways very similar to my own.

Taking MYSELF out of the equation however, the book is so great because you are basically walking through the entire world with Langston by your side explaining everything you may need to know. He goes from all over the US to New York to Africa to Italy to Haiti and Cuba and France just soaking up different personality types and different social mores along the way. The way he writes is so conversational that it makes the pages fly by like nothing.

Any aspiring writers should get this book.
and i just started on "Wonder as i Wander" the other day and it looks equally great.

3-0 out of 5 stars travels with Langston
Langston hughes presents us with his travels. This is not a great book nor it a bad book. It falls in between the scope of what happens to a guy when he goes around the world and mets people.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Sometimes life is a ripe fruit too delicious for the taste of man."
Published when Hughes was 38, the subject of The Big Sea is the period of his life from 1902-1939. It covers a wide variety of episodes in Hughes' life, with key elements being his travels as a youth, his relationship to his father, and the Harlem Renaissance.

I knew his poetry, of course, from all those years as an English major. I have not had the occasion to read any of his prose, and decided to pick this up after reading the collected works of Nella Larsen.

There was a lot to engage with in The Big Sea. I particularly liked Hughes' description of the Harlem Renaissance. His tone when he talked about it was affectionate and wistful, but still acknowledged the limitations that it had as a lasting solution. There were many great stories ("never hit a woman") and fascinating details-- reproductions of the whist party invitations, for example.

I also really was interested in the way that Hughes discusses his father and the issue of the race. His father left the US (first to Cuba, then to Mexico) in order to avoid race prejudice. His father had nothing but scorn for people of color who stayed in the US and subjected themselves to the inevitabilities of race and class limitations. The anger that this self-imposed exile cost him comes out in his dealings with his son and the way in which he engages with the world around him.

At points, it is as though Hughes is meditating on all the different ways that people around him (including him) have used to address the race problem. It is not the most uplifting of sketches, since none of the various paths seem (according to Hughes) to be a good or lasting solution.

Well-written, interesting, and with many pointers to further reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must read
I read this as an assignment in college and found it wonderfully painful in its realism and truth. A must read for every American, regardless of what ethic origin.

5-0 out of 5 stars The journies of a Hero
"On a radio show, he (Hughes) defended the right oftrumpeter Louis Armstrong, who had long faced the white world with a broad grin, to vent his racial anger."

Like Armstrong, Hughes also faced the same world with his broad smile.Throughout the BIG SEAand I WONDER AS I WANDER, there in the texts of both autobiographies is the ever smiling Hughes.Other than the people he met and the foreign lands he visited---all making for great and entertaining reading--- very little is revealed about the man he was. His larger than life personae masked a man who was only 5'4 in stature, closeted gay
because being open would have meant a short career and ostracism, especially in the African American community who was a refuge from a racially hostile world and who Hughes loved with an unmatched passion back in his day, and, according to the late Gwendolyn Brooks who had known Hughes since the age of 16 wrote in a New York Times article that when Hughes was subjected to offense and icy treatment because of his race, he was capable of jagged anger - and vengeance, instant or retroactive. She has letters from him that reveal he could respond with real rage when he felt he was treated cruelly by other people.

Both autobiographies do a great job at documenting the world in Hughes' day.The most fascinating thing about the first book of his life is the Harlem Renaissance and the people who moved in it during its illustrious height.Till this day, the BIG SEA provides one of the best sources of this important period in American culture.Few people realized that if not for best friend Arna Bomtemps the autobiography may have never been written. Bontemps encouraged Hughes to write the book.Up to that time, few blacks, especially black males, had seen and done what Hughes managed to do.Plus, the book challenged stereotypes about black America in general.The challenge he had in writing the book was how to write for two audiences, white and black.Characteristically, Hughes did not pander to the white audience, "I do not hate `all' white people," nor did he distance himselffrom and sacrifice the racial pride his grandmother taught him to have for his people, who he primarily wrote for.In the second autobiography, Hughes is on the road again and much more time is given to his travels, especially in the then Soviet Union. Absent are his communist sympathies.Like many blacks of the day, socialism was preferable to segregation.Blatant is the unspoken critique that in the absence of capitalism, everyone man is "equal."As far as romance is concerned, scholars have noted Hughes'rather perfunctory and insincere rendezvous with the very few woman he talks about in these autobiographies.Quite understandably, Hughes attempts to pass himself off as having all the accoutrements of straight men. His situation with the over zealous Russian woman who he does not portray favorably in I WONDER AS I WANDER is interesting.She is portrayed as the Duboisian woman whose association with black men destroys them.Plus, Hughes did not favor interracial marriage so it is peculiar that he proffered the idea in the text of bring the Russian woman home as a wife as she wanted.

The above quote was from Volume 2 of Arnold Rampersad's biography of Hughes.What made Hughes' defense of Armstrong so intriguing is that Hughesalso reveals much about himself and what lied behind the mask he wore.The readers of the BIG SEA and I WONDER AS I WANDER will not see the man behind the mask.They are largely presented surface, a fleeting glimpse of Hughes here and there.A scholar said to really understand Hughes, one must read Rampersad's two biographies.This scholar was partially right. But, don't dismiss these autobiographies!They are worth the read and are a enjoyable read. Time and interest permitting, do read LANGSTON HUGHES Vols. 1 and 2 by Rampersadfor balance also read Faith Berry's LANGSTON HUGHES: BEFORE AND BEYOND HARLEM. Reading these latter biographies with the two autobiographies by Hughes, one will be presented the man Langston Hughes was: proudly African American, gay, brave, smart, ambitious, often very angry, and often lonely.

Hughes doesn't reveal much of himself, but his autobiographies are still 5 star ratings because like his work they continue to inspire and for everyone, especially young blacks in the inner city, let them know that they can overcome any obstacle in life so long as the desire and determination is there.

... Read more

12. Black Misery (Iona and Peter Opie Library of Children's Literature)
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 72 Pages (2001-01-04)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$15.49
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Asin: 0195142985
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Black Misery was first published in 1969, but the gentle, funny, and sometimes melancholy words of Langston Hughes still cause a blink of recognition. After 25 years, it remains relevant in our own time. As you turn the pages you may say, "I remember feeling like that!" You may say, "I feel like that now."
As you look at Arouni's black and white illustrations and read the short but powerful one sentence captions, you feel the predicament of a black child adjusting to the new world of integration of the 1960s. You feel the mix of hope and dismay that characterized the decade.
Langston Hughes was a writer who often made his readers ask hard questions about life. In Black Misery he wrote about prejudice and indifference, but he wrote with humor and compassion. Today--just as we did 25 years ago-we smile and even laugh, and we also understand that some things are more than hard, are more than sad. They are pure misery.
Black Misery was the last book that Langston Hughes wrote. He died in May 1967, while working on the manuscript. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book about Privilege for Adults and Children
Most white people rarely think about racial discrimination except as something that happened "back then" "down south". We're (I write this as a white man) far more likely to whine about "reverse discrimination," about how unfair affirmative action is and how confusing PC speech has become (Are "they" black, African-Americans, people of color or *what* ?). We tend to think of black people three ways:

1) We see them as white people with extra pigmentation. We don't really notice any difference and blithely assume that they're "just like us".

2) We see them as gods and superheros, running faster, jumping higher, dancing better, and better endowed in various ways.

3) We demonize them--welfare mothers pumping out babies, gangstas, crack ho's & that junkie pulling a smash 'n' grab to feed his habit.

Rarely do we ever try to understand what it's like, growing up different. Langston Hughes, in this powerful little book, opens a window for us. Although aimed at children of all races, perhaps the people who benefit most from this work will be white "liberals" who think racism is horrible until an African-American family moves in down the block.

"Misery is when the taxi cab won't stop for your motoher and she says a bad word."

"Misery is when you first realize so many things bad have black in them, like black cats, black arts, blackball."

"Misery is when you go to the Department Store before Christmas and find out that Santa is a white man."

"Misery is when you start to help an old white lady across the street and she thinks you're trying to snatch her purse."

These, and a whole host of others, are poignantly illustrated by Arouni. The book is introduced by Jesse Jackson, who points out that some things are dated (society has evolved a bit since 1967), but that plenty of room for progress remains. Historical events, such as the presidential election of 2000, demonstrate that deep and systematic racism still pervades American life. This was the last work that Langston Hughes wrote. He died in 1967, while working on the manuscript.

Both my 13-year-old son and my 8-year-old daughter have found the book touching. Reading it with them has helped them to have a better understanding of what it might be like to be "different." I believe this book opens the way for genuine dialogue between people of different races, instead of maintaining projections and biases. ... Read more

13. The Best of Simple (American Century)
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 256 Pages (1990-09-28)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$1.20
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Asin: 0374521336
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Langston Hughes's stories about Jesse B. Semple--first composed for a weekly column in the Chicago Defender and then collected in Simple Speaks His Mind, Simple Takes a Wife, and Simple Stakes a Claim--have been read and loved by hundreds of thousands of readers. In The Best of Simple, the author picked his favorites from these earlier volumes, stories that not only have proved popular but are now part of a great and growing literary tradition.

Simple might be considered an Everyman for black Americans. Hughes himself wrote: "...these tales are about a great many people--although they are stories about no specific persons as such. But it is impossible to live in Harlem and not know at least a hundred Simples, fifty Joyces, twenty-five Zaritas, and several Cousin Minnies--or reasonable facsimiles thereof."

As Arnold Rampersad has written, Simple is "one of the most memorable and winning characters in the annals of American literature, justly regarded as one of Hughes's most inspired creations."

Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, went to Cleveland, Ohio, lived for a number of years in Chicago, and long resided in New York City's Harlem. He graduated form Lincoln University in 1929 and was awarded an honorary Litt. D. in 1943. He was perhaps best known as a poet and the creator of Simple, but he also wrote novels, biography, history, plays (several of them Broadway hits), and children's books, and he edited several anthologies. Mr. Hughes died in 1967.
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Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Simple

5-0 out of 5 stars The Black Aristotle
Collected here in this book is some of the BEST OF SIMPLE (Semple).Simple was a character first introduced in the Chicago Defender and one who quickly won over a diverse group of readers.Here you will find his talking buddy at Paddy's Bar,varying female characters who function as both pleasure and the occasional headache for Simple, and a generous offeringing of black country folk wisdom on a variety of topics, a few still with us today as when Simple first offered them up for thought.The reader piggybacks Simple through all his trials of life as a black man in Harlem and the U.S.Throughout it all, there is this inescapable sense of lonliness and despair which in the end is buoyed up with laughter, perseverance, and an eternal hope for better times to come.

James Baldwin said he could understand his father's rage and anger at whites, and, his mother's desire to build bridges of understanding and tolerance with whites through the character of Jesse B. Semple (Simple), Langston Hughes' most endearing character who is often called the black Aristotle.Baldwin's comment was perceptive because these two divergent views were embodied in Hughes himself and much of his body of work. (Hughes said that in the Simple stories it was often him having conversations with himself.)Hughes didn't hold a favorable view of whites in general as critics and others have already noted.He had too often been at the stinging end of injustice for being a proud African American while at the same time not being given the same treatment as less talented white writers within the samepublishing house as himself. At the same time, unlike the rise of black militants he witnessed toward the last years of his life, he always understood that some whites where allies in a shared humanity and fight for justice with many blacks and should not be lumped into one large catagory as instigators ofintolerance.

Like Simple, Hughes wanted to keep hope alive for better times ahead.The poem I DREAM A WORLD is a good example.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Man Does It All!
I love this book. Simple reminds me of all the men I know where there is that thin line of love and hate but you just can't help but love them and their wit.For anyone who needs a few good laughs and enjoys Langston Hughes you won't be dissapointed because Mr. Hughes truly does it all!

5-0 out of 5 stars Langston Hughes at his best
This is one of my favorite Langston Hughes books.His character Simple reminds me of one of my friends.Always bumming money for his vises and having women problems seems to be Simple's lot in life which he bears with hilarious results.Langston Hughes is funny as his put upon friend dealing with Simple's strange but oddly common sense philosphies about just about everything from feet to cops to women.This book is worth reading if for no other reason than that you will find that one of your friends is Simple in disguise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Timeless
Many people praise the poetry of Langston Hughes, but I believe that hisprose is just as relevant in regards to social criticism, andasmagnificent in form.Reading Simple's tall tales, and his anecdotes as heexperienced Harlem reminded me of the stories my Grandparents told of howChicago was during the great Northern Migration.This collection is awonderful introduction to Jesse B. Simple ... Read more

14. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems
by Langston Hughes
Paperback: 96 Pages (1996-12-03)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$1.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679883479
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Illus. in black-and-white. This classic collection of poetry is available in

a handsome new gift edition that includes seven additional poems written after

The Dream Keeper was first published. In a larger format, featuring

Brian Pinkney's scratchboard art on every spread, Hughes's inspirational

message to young people is as relevant today as it was in 1932. "There's no

better way to show kids what poetry is about than to share this


... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hughes' poems
The book "The dream Keeper" by Langston Hughes is a complete tresure. The first time i saw it was in high school,the poem i had to read was "As I grew older". It really inspired me to fight and never loose faith in what I belive in. African american poetry, in general, are great poems to have and keep for eternity. they teach us to respect and accept everyone for who they are, without looking at the color of their skin.
God Bless!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry
This is real poetry that you can see, hear, and feel in your heart and head.Langston Hughes has captured our hopes, dreams, life and love and put it in words.This book is a great stepping stone to making fabric dream catchers to hang about.It cries out to be shared.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read
The Dream Keepers and other poems is a book that you must read. Langston Hughes puts you through so many different moods during this book. The poems reach out to you. I especially like the I,TOO poem. This poems speaks about progress, determination, and being focused. There is a poem for everyone to connect with. The illusrations byBrian Pinkney are black and white with a lot of curvy lines. There was a greatof time put in each. The pictures assist in putting you in the mood of the poem. The only thing left to say is read the book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Words Come Alive
Hughes' words come to life in this book of poetry.This collection, originally issued in 1932, is as powerful as it was seventy years ago.As an added bonus, there are seven new poems for the reader to enjoy.The struggle and celebration of the African-American experience is apparent here.Brian Pinkney's black-and-white scratchboard illustrations add life and expression to the poems.Hughes' classic collection is appealing and inspirational.This astonishingly wonderful set of poems is definitely a collection that would spark the interest of children learning about poetry.Hughes' gift of lively words live on!

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Langston Hughes for Children
The Dream Keeper and Other Poems is essential for anybody trying to share the beauty of Langston Hughes with children. The poems in this collection rank among Hughes' finest. Pinkney's illustrations compliment the imageryof the poetry wonderfully. Children and adults will become true LangstonHughes fans after reading this introductory book. ... Read more

15. Coming Home: From the Life of Langston Hughes
by Floyd Cooper
Paperback: 32 Pages (1998-02-02)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$1.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0698116127
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Young Langston Hughes was a dreamer. He dreamed about heroes like Booker T. Washington, who was black just like him. When he heard the clackety-clack of train wheels, he dreamed about the places it had been. But most of all, he dreamed about having a happy home. And so, one day, he began turning those dreams into beautiful prose. As he did, he discovered where his home really was--in the words and rhythms of his poetry that reached people all over the world. The beloved Langston Hughes comes to life in a book for poets, dreamers, children and adults --anyone who has ever thought of what home means to them. Teachers looking for a good way to introduce youngsters to this prominent poet will find this book to be an excellentaccompaniment to his work. --School Library Journal Like Hughes' poetry, the power of Cooper's story is that itconfronts sadness even as it transcends it. --Booklist His text is as inviting as his illustrations. --The New York Times Book Review ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The GREAT ONES usually start from HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
Floyd Cooper's book is the perfect introduction to the early life of one of America's literary giants. This biography covers so much ground, with historical references, as well as stressing the importance of family, that the book is an asset to teach different subject areas.

Smaller children can relate to the simple narrative, while older readers can make connections between the young "dreamer" and the works for which he would be later known.

The book could fit easily in the library of both an elementary or high school.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Illustrations
The watercolor illustrations employed represent the setting perfectly, regardless if the point in the story was that of a rural Kansas, Kansas City street life, and Mexican village. What wonderful impressionistic artwork!There seems to be an inner light in the faces of each person represented in the illustrations.
The action and music portrayed in the text, carries over into the illustrations.The book's illustrations show movement and action.A sense of happiness or loneliness is conveyed through the watercolor paintings.They are very explicit in showing emotion.Overall, text and illustrations, lend this to being one of the best biographical books for young children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Walking with Pride
This story is so moving. Showing hardships, love, and finding acceptance.It tells of an Afician child learning about his history and walking tall as a man. It was very moving, the pictures were soft and had a texture of warmth. I would highly recommend it for reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heroes, who were just like Langston.
I thouroughly enjoyed this book.I didn't know much about Langston Hughes before I had read it.I think I understand him a little better after reading it. What attracted me the most was finding a book about an African American boy who learned his own family history and could feel proud of it. I guess the following quote sums it up "Almost always, his grandma told stories of heroes.Heroes who were black, just like Langston."I am volunteering in an inner city middle school.The kids I tutor do not read anywhere near their grade level.I think they might be able to read this book, and still enjoy it.It's not a baby book, although, I suppose a young child might enjoy it, too.I alsolike the warm and colorful pictures. ... Read more

16. The Poems: 1921-1940 (The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Vol 1)
by Langston Hughes
Hardcover: 296 Pages (2001-06-18)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$32.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826213391
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Volume 1 includes the complete texts of four books of verse by Hughes, including his first book, The Weary Blues (1926), and his second, Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927), as well as other poems published by him during and after the Harlem Renaissance. The Weary Blues announced the arrival of a rare voice in American poetry. A literary descendant of Walt Whitman ("I, too, sing America," Hughes wrote), he chanted the joys and sorrows of black America in unprecedented language. A gifted lyricist, he offered rhythms and cadences that epitomized the particularities of African American creativity, especially jazz and the blues. His second volume, steeped in the blues and controversial because of its frankness, confirmed Hughes as a poet of uncompromising integrity. Then in the 1930s came Dear Lovely Death (1931) and the radical A New Song (1938). Poems such as "Good Morning Revolution" and "Let America Be America Again" made his pen one of the most forceful in America during the Great Depression.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars cultural insight
Excellent view of an emerging modernist culture in a time when little has been shared generally with the mainstream American history instruction in schools.

Uplifting and provocative in a positive way. For a whitebread middleclass American, I found this refreshing when compared to the mudslinging of the divisionist politics currently going on in the Presidential election.

Each culture has unique views and gifts to share, this was an enlightening view of the Black Culture I had not seen before. Rapping and Krumping glorify the street, these writings glorify the inner soul.

I am ordering Volume 2 ... Read more

17. A Historical Guide to Langston Hughes (Historical Guides to American Authors)
Paperback: 264 Pages (2003-12-04)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$6.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195144341
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Langston Hughes has been an inspiration to generations of readers and writers seeking a passionate, intelligent, and socially responsible art. In this volume, Steven C. Tracy has gathered a broad range of critics to produce an interdisciplinary approach to the important historical and cultural elements reflected in the variety of genres in which Hughes worked. Through the lenses of creative writers, musicians, social activists and critics, this collection explores the ways that Hughes transformed American literature and society. Rooting his aesthetic in the art and values of Black folk, Hughes mediated the conflicting artistic demands of both the literati and the masses, demonstrating the social and spiritual power of art. Contributors to this volume place Hughes in the context of Harlem, his preferred geographical and spiritual home base, as well as the larger political, social, musical, and artistic milieu of his rapidly changing times. Their essays examine Hughes's negotiation of his own moral and ethical ground in a complex, sometimes hostile world, and demonstrate the remarkable triumph of a sensitive, creative human being who refused to be overwhelmed by the forces of discrimination, pessimism, and bitterness that claimed so many writers of his generation. An essentially very private individual, Hughes nonetheless rejected difficulty, obscurity, and the ivory tower in order to generate a very public life and art. This volume, with its historical essays, brief biography, and illustrated chronology, provides a concise yet authoritative portrait of one of America's and the world's most beloved writers. ... Read more

18. Five Plays by Langston Hughes (Midland Books)
Paperback: 280 Pages (1963-01-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0253201217
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"His pictures of Harlem life are as fresh today as they were when they were first set down... " -- Long Beach Press-Telegraph

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT
I really enjoyed these plays. They are beautiful and well written. I highly recommend this book. ... Read more

19. The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1899-1967: The Classic Anthology
by James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Richard Wright, Frank Yerby, Various Others
Paperback: 512 Pages (1969-02-28)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$4.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316380318
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good thinking
Remember the stories your parents told you about black experiences, then this is the book for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Nice Collection of Short Stories!
Langston Hughes provides an introduction into this selected anthology of short stories by prominent African American writers like Langston Hughes' himself with his classic short story, "Thank You, Mam." We also have a short story by poet Gwendolyn Brooks and dancer/choreographer Katherine Dunham. There are the traditional authors like Zora Neale Huston, James Baldwin, Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ralph Ellison, Ernest J. Gaines, Jean Toomer, and Richard Wright only to name a few. It's still a great anthology of assorted stories about African American life in America from the South to Chicago and New York.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Best of The Best
This book is a collection of short stories that was put together by the great Harlem Renaissance writer, Langston Hughes. Some authors whose works are also featured in the book are Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alice Walker. These stories are fun to read and they speak about the current issues that Black America was facing during the time period. This book is for anyone who is trying to better understand black thought during the 20th century.

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Best Short Stories by Black Writers" is a #1 classic!
This book is an excellent example of reality. In each short story, there is some kind of relivance of growing up in a nation filled with crime, love, kindenss, hardships, and friendships. The writers express themselvesso wonderfully, vivid pictures of the events are played in my head. Itkeeps middle-school children very attentive, mainly because they can easilyrelate to the troubles of growing up today. Teens can feel a sense ofcomfort in this book because they know they are not alone. This bookcontains collections by some of the best authors in the world. It reallymakes the african-american culture shine to where all cultures will enjoy! ... Read more

20. My People
by Langston Hughes
Hardcover: 40 Pages (2009-01-06)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$7.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416935401
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Langston Hughes's spare yet eloquent tribue to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Charles R. Smith Jr. interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone is Special
The book is a poem that is about black empowerment. The book helps children notice that every race comes in all shapes, sizes, shades, and ages. The book is very short only 33 words I still think it has a very important message to share with young children. Throughout the book there are many pictures of very different looking African Americans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple Beauty

Simple Beauty
My People
Coretta Scott King Award- 2010
By: Langston Hughes
Illustrated by: Charles R Smith Jr.
My people is incredible. Langston Hughes poem of My People is beautiful yet so simple. I love how he uses the stars, sun, and night to compare to his people. Each page is filled with two to three words of his poem. You will be rushing through the book to finish the poem. And then you will re-read the book to explore Charles R. Smith Jr.'s breathtaking pictures that bring Langston Hughes poem to alive. The book is filled with pictures of African Americans one or two on each page. The images are simply amazing. You won't be able to take your eyes off the page. The images are in sepia on a black background. It's a guarantee you will be amazed with the images. This would be a wonderful book to read to all children to appreciate life's simple beauties. I loved this one!!!!
Hughes, Langston. (2009) My People. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/Atheneum

3-0 out of 5 stars So close for me, but yet . . .
With this book I loose the beauty of the poem by having to read it so slowly, one............ or......... two...... words...... at...... a...... time. I was yearning to turn the pages faster so I could take in the words of the poem, but by flipping the pages to read the words I was not absorbing the pictures.
The photography is beautifully executed-clearly worthy of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrators.Looking at each page individually; the words and chosen photos work wonders together. But the overall composition of the book made me choose between the words or the pictures; I didn't feel they worked harmoniously together overall as they did one page at a time.

5-0 out of 5 stars my people
Charles R. Smith has brought Langton's Hughes poem "My People" to life in pictures.His images evoke the souls of African Americans featured in the book.You can feel their presence as you look at the different people; you share their dreaming, smiles and cries.In addition, the black background of the pages produces a mystic effect, mesmerizing.More importantly, the book reminds you of my people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Picuture Book for Kids and Adults, Too!
I am a teacher and the mom to two kids,one birthchild and one adopted child who is African-American (ages 11 and 8). I am also a collector of picture books. Qualities that I look for in a book were in this one:Excellent "storyline"-poem by Langston Hughes, emotionally moving, inspirational or unique artwork, has a message or learning in it, speaks about the perspective people or families who are in the minority or living an alternative lifestyle.
The photography in this book is exceptional, showing all ages of African-American people, and the text fits so well with the images, or the other way around!
I had goosebumps when I read it! That is a huge thumbs up! I highly recommend this book! ... Read more

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