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Meet Amazing Americans Writers & Artists Langston Hughes
Drawing of Langston Hughes by Winold Reiss
Drawing of Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes, Man of the People
Perhaps the phrase means that the low-down folks appreciated the beauty that existed in their lives. Hughes loved the music of his people, especially the blues, songs that express sad themes. He heard this music in clubs in Chicago, New York, Kansas City and Washington, D.C. The songs he heard were about people who were determined to overcome hardships. In "Songs Called the Blues" (1941), Hughes said this music was sung by "black, beaten but unbeatable throats." In 1958, Hughes recorded his poetry to the accompaniment of the music of jazz and blues artists such as Charles Mingus. Have you ever heard poetry recited to music?
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