Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Weary Blues, by Langston Hughes (1923)

This is awesome-- came across it randomly when I was looking for some writing by Langston Hughes.

Hughes was the great African-American writer who was a leading figure of the "Harlem Renaissance" of the 1920's, and who (as you'll hear here) introduced the daily common speech of African-American people into "high" art-- Along with people like Zora Neale Hurston, he recognized that the daily speech of black Americans was an art form in and of itself--a musical, cadenced, expressive speech that lent itself well to music and poetry and that could be represented as it was, without having to be changed to fit into traditional, mostly Eurocentric models of literature. Along with a big handful of other artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, etc, he was part of the first introduction of black American art forms to the larger world, and part of their acceptance as "high" art.

This poem, and the video too, is fantastic.

Here's the tag that goes with it on YouTube:
One of 21 video poems in Four Seasons Productions upcoming Moving Poetry Series - Three innovative new films - RANT * RAVE * RIFF. The Weary Blues was written by Langston Hughes in 1923 and recited in our film by author and Harvard Professor Dr. Allen Dwight Callahan.

To learn more about this provocative new series, how to purchase directly from our online store or on and for the full transcripts of our films poems, visit our website at

1 comment:

Quitmoanez said...

Pretty. Damn. Amazing.