Goodbye Langston: My Tribute to Langston Hughes
New York. Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz is set in the late s and early s.
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The festival came to an abrupt end when three thousand rioting fans, unable to obtain tickets, stormed the gates. The mostly young, white men created so much civil disturbance that 50 people were treated in hospital and were thrown in jail. Saddened by the events of the previous days Langston composed a blues poem, Goodbye Newport Blues; Otis Spann set the words to music, and Muddy Waters sung it that evening Rampersad, , p.
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Hughes meditated on the disturbing events of the festival, the history of Newport, Rhode Island as one built from the cargoes of slave ships, and the irony of the musical genre-Jazz, and black musicians hitherto unwelcome in this city. Music, language, and the social interaction of life experiences inform the poetry of the poet laureate, Langston Hughes.
In concert with the text and in call-and-response mode the music is central to the delivery of each Mood.
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A third layer of artistry is added with cinematography and new musical expressions in Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz. The historical and geographical settings and the themes remain intact.
Before returning to North America the mood takes a quick detour to Europe, and rests in North America where the hopes and dreams of civil rights leaders and social activists is set against slavery, imperialism and segregation. Cultural Exchange sets the tone for the rest of the Moods.
The central theme of this Mood is independence or freedom and what it meant to people of color of the period. He expresses his anger and dismay with text interpolated with jazz and other music. The music provided metaphors through which the themes could be explicated. In some lines of the Mood, Hughes also refers to some universal truths or consistencies that existed and continues to exist for and connect Negroes.
Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz Study Guide
Give particular attention to discussion how these two are reflection of the road to independence in different contexts. Cultural Exchange is lyrical poetry in free verse; it is replete with figurative language and musical ideas. Oh when the saints go marching in When the saints go marching in Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in.
And when the sun refuse begins to shine And when the sun refuse begins to shine Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in. When the moon turns red with blood When the moon turns red with blood Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in. On that hallelujah day On that hallelujah day Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in. Oh when the trumpet sounds the call Oh when the trumpet sounds the call Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in.
When the revelation revolution comes When the revelation revolution comes Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in.
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When the rich go out and work When the rich go out and work Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in. When the air is pure and clean When the air is pure and clean Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in.
When we all have food to eat When we all have food to eat Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in. When our leaders learn to cry When our leaders learn to cry Oh lord I want to be in that number When the saints go marching in. Read Rampersad, A. This Mood, as with all the others, moves from setting to setting-crossing boundaries in space and time. Hughes made a least three trips to Cuba before his death. Hughes evokes specific historical events.
It opens with references to music of the French Revolution and this necessitates a discussion of the role music played in social movements that marked independence.
The French Revolution forces of were demonstrated in the protests of the working class and people seeking fundamental governmental reform. Marked by Hope, Fear, Terror and Reform, the French Revolution represents a whole new way of thinking that evolved over a ten-year period starting in The purpose of the declaration was to provide an authoritative list of human rights, economic and social rights that could serve as an international standard for all peoples and nations.
And over the course of a complex, demanding life he wrote thousands of letters. The letters begin in , when Hughes entered Columbia he left a year later, graduating in from Lincoln University, where Thurgood Marshall was a classmate , and end just before his death in Photos and page notes complete a picture of the people, places, and events mentioned in the letters.
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His racially mixed ancestry included two white great-grandfathers who owned and traded slaves, and a black grandfather who was an abolitionist and educator. The absence of parents left Hughes with indelible feelings of desolation and a fear of poverty. As seen in Selected Letters , he was, like his mother, drawn to the theater, and he wrote many plays. Like his father, he was businesslike, writing letters to publishers and lawyers in clear, specific prose.
Above all, he aimed to be a voice for his fellow black Americans, a goal that he largely achieved, though not quickly and not without difficulty. The s were infused with the energy of the literary movement that would become known as the Harlem Renaissance. Diversity was in style—up to a point. By , Hughes had published two books of poems and embarked on the first of many tours through the South, reading at black colleges for minimal fees. At least a nigger a week is being lynched in the South this season, the color line is getting tighter and tighter, even in New York, but in books and the theatre the Negro is still muy simpatico.
Dance, damn you, dance!