Langston Hughes’ 113th Birthday
When I went to google.com this morning, I expected something clever about the Super Bowl. But I was pleasantly surprised to see a happy-looking Langston Hughes working on a type writer.
I first learned about Hughes in 9th grade. It was only the beginning of my second year in the US, and although I was just beginning to grasp the English language, the timing could not have been more perfect. The previous year had been a roller-coaster ride. I came to the US with a lot of optimism and idyllic views of America. Those views were further reinforced in civics class where I learned about the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. My second semester, however, was very traumatic. That is when I learned about Slavery in the United States. I could not believe that such a great nation had done something so cruel. That second year, the words of Langston Hughes taught me that America is a work in progress. And that every generation can play a role in helping America be.
It must have been the timing, because I vividly remember the classroom where I read the works of Hughes and Frost. Hughes taught me about the nature of dreams and the need for struggle in life. Years before I was introduced to Thoreau and Emerson, Hughes and Frost sparked my imagination.
I have benefited from reading Hughes, and it is only fair that I share that experience with others. Here are some resources:
- Let America Be America Again
- A Teacher’s Guide to Poems by Langston Hughes
- Dream a World with Langston Hughes
- A Study of His Poetry for Elementary Students