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Archived What Happens? A Tribute To Langston Hughes

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What Happens? A Tribute To Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) was an African-American poet, journalist, playwright, novelist and librettist, and a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance. His writings dealt with social issues of the time which have an uncanny resonance with today, both in America and around the world.

‘What Happens to a Dream Deferred?’ is the opening line to one of Hughes’ and America’s most famous poems Harlem, written in 1951. The poem goes on to ask, ‘Does it dry up/ like a raisin in the sun?’, this third line inspired the title of a famous stage play and movie, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, which dealt with American racism and history as played out in the lives of a Black family trying to purchase a house in an all-White part of Chicago in the 1960s.

The poem also inspired this show by Nigerian-born actor and singer Tayo Aluko who will be accompanied by a three-piece jazz band in dramatic performances of selections of Hughes' poetry and prose, as well as instrumental music and songs and from the era.


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