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Langston Hughes

The Academy of American Poets: Langston Hughes
The Academy of American Poets was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. The Academy maintains this lively and comprehensive poetry Web site.

Langston Hughes's The Sweet and Sour Animal Book
A Discovery Theater Teaching Guide, recommended for grades pre-K through 3, including discussion topics, vocabulary, activities, references and resources and audio clips from the Smithsonian Folkways Recording Langston Hughes: Rhythms of the World. Discovery Theater, a division of The Smithsonian Associates, presents live theater performances for children.

Who Was Langston Hughes? An essay by Eric J. Sundquist
"...Quickly leaping beyond the stylized primitivism of the day, Hughes had discovered a fluent language in which black American life could be immortalized without resort to caricature. Yet by the time the stock-market crash of 1929 dropped the curtain on the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes had grown altogether dissatisfied with the aesthetics of black modernism..."

The Langston Hughes Review
The Web site of the official publication of the Langston Hughes Society at the University of Georgia's Institute for African American Studies.

Two of several curriculum units in Afro-American Autobiography from the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute:
Langston Hughes: Voice Among Voices

This curriculum unit focuses on a varied sampling of Langston Hughes's poetry, his short stories starring his "ace-boy" Jesse B. Simple, and vignettes from The Big Sea, his first autobiography.

Langston Hughes: Artist and Historian The objectives of this curriculum unit are to teach students: multicultural perspectives on race and law; how to use the pen as a weapon of justice through examining the poetry of Langston Hughes; and to develop an appreciation for art based on aesthetic and educational significance.

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The Harlem Renaissance

Harlem: 1900 - 1940, An African American Community
A history education portfolio produced by the Educational Programs unit of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Public Library. This package has been developed to stimulate a desire to discover the fascinating history of a unique community, Harlem.

African American Odyssey
This exhibition, The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displaying more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings, this is the largest black history exhibit ever held at the Library. Exhibit Section VII, "World War I and Postwar Society," includes the Harlem Renaissance.

PAL: Perspectives in American Literature: A Research and Reference Guide
From California State University Stanislaus, an ongoing online project, including authors, research and bibliographical information. Entries include appendices and expanded bibliographies and study questions. The chapter on the Harlem Renaissance includes entries about Arna Bontemps, Sterling A Brown, Countee Cullen, W. E. B. Du Bois, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, Alain Locke, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Carl Van Vechten and many others.

I'll Make Me a World: A Century of African American Arts
This Web site, an education and community resource to the PBS Series I'll Make Me A World, "celebrates the extraordinary achievements of 20th-century African-American writers, dancers, painters, actors, filmmakers, musicians, and other artists who changed forever who we are as a nation and a culture." Hour 2, Without Fear or Shame, focuses on the years of the Harlem Renaissance.

Online Newshour Forum: The Harlem Renaissance
What was it about the 1920s and 30s that opened up the pathways toward African-American cultural expression? Are we still experiencing the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance today? Forum guests are: Jeffrey C. Stewart, professor of history at George Mason University, William Drummond, a journalism professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Richard Powell, associate professor of art and art history at Duke University.

The Harlem Renaissance: A Selected Bibliography from the Chicago Public Library
A listing of general works and anthologies, compiled by the Harold Washington Library Center.

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Women, work and race

History Matters
A project of the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning of the City University of New York and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Designed for high school and college teachers of U.S. history survey courses, this site offers teaching materials and archived forums. Three first-person documents of interest at this site are:

"We Are Literally Slaves: An Early Twentieth-Century Black Nanny Sets the Record Straight"
In 1912 the Independent printed this quasi-autobiographical account of servant life, as related by an African-American domestic worker, which dispels the comforting "mammy" myth.

"Experiences of a 'Hired Girl:' An Early Twentieth-Century Domestic Worker Speaks Out"
This anonymous worker articulated common grievances of domestic workers in a 1912 article in Outlook magazine. A veteran of thirty-three years of household labor, she protested the unsystematic work and arbitrary supervision of domestic service, the most common category of female employment until World War II.

"Sadie's Servant Room Blues:" 1920s Domestic Work in Song
By 1920 some 40 percent of all domestic workers were African American -- and more than 70 percent of all wage-earning African-American women worked as servants or laundresses. The struggles of domestic workers were sometimes recorded in songs like Hattie Burleson's 1928 "Sadie's Servant Room Blues," a musical version of common complaints of domestic workers about long hours, low pay, and lack of privacy.

The Bronx Slave Market
A draft chapter of a Ph.D. dissertation in progress by Alana J. Erickson; an overview of a time when African American women would line up and wait patiently "for white housewives to come and look them up and down and see if they were strong enough to scrub floors for hours for a pittance."

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Langston Hughes

Berry, Faith. Langston Hughes: Before and Beyond Harlem, Citadel Press, 1992.

Cooper, Floyd. Coming Home: From the Life of Langston Hughes, Philomel Books, 1994. (For children)

Dace, Tish, ed. Langston Hughes: The Contemporary Reviews, Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Ostrom, Hans. Langston Hughes: A Study of the Short Fiction, Boston: Twayne, 1993.

Rampersad, Arnold. The Life of Langston Hughes, Volume 1: 1902 - 1941: I, Too, Sing America, Oxford University Press, 1986.

Rampersad, Arnold. The Life of Langston Hughes, Volume 2: 1941 - 1967: I Dream a World, Oxford University Press, 1988.

Trotman, C. James, editor. Langston Hughes: The Man, His Art, and His Continuing Influence (Critical Studies in Black Life and Culture), Garland Publishing, 1995.

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The Harlem Renaissance

Driskell, David C., editor. Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America, Abradale Press, 1994.

Lewis, David Levering, editor. The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader, Penguin USA, 1995.

Lewis, David Levering. When Harlem Was in Vogue, Penguin, 1997.

Watson, Steven. The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African-American Culture, 1920 - 1930 (Circles of the Twentieth Century Series, No. 1), Pantheon Books, 1996.

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Women, work and race

Chang, Grace and Mimi Abramovitz. Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy, Consortium Book, 2000.

Childress, Alice. Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic's Life (Black Women Writers Series), Beacon Pr., 1986.

Chin, Christine B. N. In Service and Servitude, Columbia University Press, 1998.

Clark-Lewis, Elizabeth and Deborah Baker (Editor). Living In, Living Out: African American Domestics and the Great Migration, Kodansha International, 1996.

Dill, Bonnie Thornton. Across the Boundries of Race and Class: An Exploration of Work and Family Among Black Female Domestic Servants (Studies in African American History), Garland Pub., 1994.

Palmer, Phyllis M. Domesticity and Dirt: Housewives and Domestic Servants in the United States, 1920-1945 (Women in the Political Economy), Temple University Press, 1991.

Romero, Mary. Maid in the U.S.A. (Perspectives on Gender), Routledge, 1992.

Tucker, Susan. Telling Memories Among Southern Women: Domestic Workers and Their Employers in the Segregated South, Louisiana State Univ. Pr., 1988.

Essays + Interviews | Who's Who | The Harlem Renaissance
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