Welcome to the month of February! We have officially completed the first month of 2019 and made it into a new month. For many of you, this month is recognized as the month of Love, Chocolates, Flowers, gifts for significant others, and that pesky Cupid- the flying baby with no clothes. However, here in the U.S. we also recognize this month as a celebration of Black History, figures, and the contributions that many Black Americans like Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson made to create the American culture as you know today.
In honor of Black History Month there will be a mini cultural/history lesson available to you each week. For you English language learners who live in the U.S. and abroad, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of the language you are trying to perfect; for much of language is deeply rooted in culture.
This week's Black History spotlight will be on a man name Langston Hughes. A Black American who also had deep roots in Latin America. James Mercer Langston Hughes lived from 1902-1967. He was a writer and poet during an era where many great Black writers emerged during a time of racial separation and classicism. This period which produced great thinkers, writers, poets, playwrights, and activist is known as the "Harlem Renaissance". Langston Hughes made the Black American experience the focus of his writings and these writings ranged from poetry, plays, novels, and newspaper columns. He was a man who was well traveled and had contact with many cultures. Some of his travels included living in Mexico, Haiti, Japan, and reporting for the Spanish Civil War in Spain.
Langston Hughes was one of the closest American writers to Latin America at the time. Some of his works included translating poetry written by Federico García Lorca and Garbriel Mistral and having his poetry translated to Spanish. Let's take a look at one of his famous poems called Dreams That's right! Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't the only one who had a dream.
After reading the poem, let me know what dreams you have for your life, country, or culture in the discussion board at the end of this post. This is a great opportunity for you to practice your writing fluency and practice expressing yourself in English. Enjoy!
Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
What dreams do you have for your life, country, or culture?
“Langston Hughes Was a Dreamer Too.” Classroom Rewards Reap Dividends for Teachers and Students | Education World, www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/dailylp/dailylp/dailylp051.shtml. Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Langston Hughes.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 28 Jan. 2019, www.britannica.com/biography/Langston-Hughes. Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.
Belfor, Charles. “Dreams - Langston Hughes.” YouTube, YouTube, 25 May 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApCK-b5BHGE. Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.
“Langston Hughes.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., www.britannica.com/biography/Langston-Hughes/images-videos. Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.