When Poetry And Exploitation Collided

by Allan Appel | Jan 23, 2017 8:44 am | Comments (1)

Beinecke Library A black novelist was so sick of the portrayal by his fellow writers of the Negro as fundamentally different from other homo sapiens that he wrote a satire, Black No More, starring a doctor who invents a procedure to lighten skin pigment.

A white champion of the new black lit himself penned a novel called Nigger Heaven, featuring sexual promiscuity; it sold well, and he was accused of exploitation.

And one of Langston Hughes‘s earliest blues-inspired poems was called “Fine Clothes to de Jew”; it broke new ground but its subject infuriated the black middle class — and, yes, there already was one in the Harlem of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Ask Your Mama

by Lucy Gellman | Oct 27, 2016 8:22 am

The first time performance artist Kenyon Adams read Langston Hughes’ epic, emotional Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz, he was young and not totally floored by the poetry of each word, the urgency and grace in every line, every verse, every mood. He let the poem languish for a few years. And then something happened that would change the way he thought about it forever.

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2 Generations Of Activists Mix It Up At Hip-Hop Conference

by David Yaffe-Bellany | Jul 18, 2016 7:27 am | Comments (2)

David Yaffe-Bellany PhotoGeorge Edwards was an Air Force instructor working at a base in Ohio when he realized he was “a voluntary slave.”

On Memorial Day 1960, Edwards — an intense, sharp-eyed man who served in the New Haven branch of the Black Panthers Party — heard a recording of a speech by Malcolm X that made him question his service to the United States. 

“I had a serious confrontation with history, politics, racism. I was becoming conscious of the world,” he said. “This man had shown a light to the darkness of my brain.”

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Today On WNHH

by Lucy Gellman | May 26, 2016 7:10 am

Lucy Gellman Photo Today’s episodes on WNHH radio dive headfirst into the world of contemporary poetry, teach listeners a few new camera tricks, explore interracial dating, and debate the merits of drinking on and off the job. 

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