As part of our “Dancing with Bessie and Langston” project, Don St. Clair will discuss Langston Hughes’ participation in the 20th century literary flowering – The Harlem Renaissance.Most people know of his as a poet but he wrote more plays than Shakespeare and he authored work in virtually every literary genre imaginable: novels, autobiography, essay, short stories, journalism, song, children’s books, translations and screenplays. He was probably the first African-American poet who decided and virtually did live exclusively off of his writing. What was his life like as an African-American writer in segregated America? We will also discuss his personal life (habits, sexuality, family and friendships) And lastly one of his other unheralded literary gifts: how much he helped young writers of color in this country (behind and in front of the scenes).
Admission is free!
This is part of a month-long project will explore the impact and influence of LGBT persons on the Harlem Renaissance, which took places in the 1920’s and 30’s. There will be concerts, theatrical performances, a comedy night, talks, and panel discussions with respected scholars and performers. Throughout the project, a free exhibit entitled “The Harlem Renaissance: As Gay as it was Black” will be on display at Arts at St. Johns.