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PEOPLE IN AMERICA - Langston Hughes, Part One

时间:2005-09-29 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:wbnewbie   字体: [ ]
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PEOPLE IN AMERICA -March 10, 2002: Langston Hughes, Part One

By Cynthia Kirk
VOICE ONE:
I’m Mary Tillotson.
VOICE TWO:
And I’m Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program, PEOPLE IN AMERICA. Today, we tell about


writer Langston Hughes, who has been called the poet voice of African Americans.

 

((THEME))

VOICE ONE:

The one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of James Langston Hughes is being celebrated1 in
the United States. A major event took place on his birthday, February First, in Lawrence,
Kansas, where he lived as a child. More than five-hundred scholars and fans gathered there to
remember him in speeches, films, concerts, art shows and poetry readings.

Langston Hughes is usually thought of as a poet. But he also wrote novels, plays, short
stories, essays, autobiographies2, newspaper columns, children’s books, and the words to operas. He also
translated into English the works of foreign poets.

Hughes was one of the first black writers who could support himself by his writings. He is praised for his ability
to say what was important to millions of black people.

Hughes produced a huge amount of work during his lifetime. He also has influenced the work of many other
writers. He wrote for almost fifty years.

VOICE TWO:

Langston Hughes was famous for his descriptions of black American life. He used his work to praise his people
and voice his concerns about race and social injustice3. His work is known all around the world and has been
translated into many languages.

Hughes’s poetry had serious messages. He often wrote about racial issues, describing his people in a realistic
way. Although his story was not often pleasant, he told it with understanding and with hope.

((MUSIC BRIDGE))

VOICE ONE:

Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, in nineteen-oh -two. His parents were separated. He spent most of
his childhood with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas. She told him stories about their family and their fight
to end slavery. Her storytelling filled him with pride in himself and his race. He first began to write poetry when
he was living with her.

When he was fourteen, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to stay with his mother and her new husband.

He attended Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio. Langston was named Class Poet one year. He published his
first short stories while he was still in high school.

VOICE TWO:


Langston Hughes struggled with a feeling of loneliness caused by his parent’s divorce. He developed a love of
reading books as a way to deal with the lack of time his parents spent with him. His love for reading grew into a
desire to write. He wanted to reproduce4 the powerful effect other writers had made upon him. Among the early
influences on his writing were poets Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg and Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

After graduating from high school in nineteen-twenty, Langston moved to Mexico City to live with his father for
one year. His father had moved there to escape racism5 in America. His father did not offer much warmth to his
son. Yet, Langston turned the pain caused by his family problems into one of his most famous poems, “The
Negro Speaks of Rivers.

In this poem, he speaks of the strength and pride of black people in ancient African
civilizations and in America.

((CUT ONE: “THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS”))

VOICE ONE:

Langston Hughes learned a lot about race, and about social and economic conditions while he was in Mexico. His
ability to speak Spanish and his brown skin often made it easy for him to appear to be a native. Many of his
works, including a play for children, deal with his days in Mexico.

During the time he stayed with his father in Mexico, Langston wrote many poems because he was always
unhappy. He once said that he usually created his best work when he was really not happy.

Langston had a troubled relationship with his father from which he never recovered fully6. His father did not think
he could earn a living as a writer. His mother, however, recognized his need to be a poet.

VOICE TWO:

Langston ’s father agreed to pay for his college education at Columbia University in New York City, if he
studied engineering. Langston arrived in New York when he was nineteen years old. At the end of that first year
at Columbia, he left school, broke with his father, and began traveling. Traveling was a lifelong love that would
take him throughout the world before he died.

In nineteen-twenty-two, Hughes took a job on a ship and sailed to Africa. He would later sail to France, Russia,
Spain and Italy. He wrote poems and short stories during his travels. His experiences while traveling greatly
influenced his work. He sent a few of his writings back home. They were published, which helped establish him
as a professional writer.

Financial problems ended Hughes’s travels. He tried to find work on a ship so he could return to the United
States. But in Italy, he had problems finding work on a ship because he was black. In the poem “I, Too,

he
noted7 that the American color line even reached all the way over there.

((CUT TWO: “I, TOO”))

VOICE ONE:

In nineteen-twenty-four, Langston Hughes returned to the United States to live with his mother in Washington,

D.C. The poet Vachel Lindsay ate in a hotel where Hughes was working. Hughes put some poems he had written
next to Lindsay’s dinner plate. Lindsay gave a poetry reading later that night. He read some of Hughes’s
poetry, too. Newspapers across the country wrote about Lindsay’s poetry reading. Hughes became known as a
new black poet.

A year later, Hughes returned to New York. Through the years he lived in many places, but always came back to
New York’s Harlem area. Harlem was the center of black life in New York City. Hughes’s creativity was
influenced by his life in Harlem.

VOICE TWO:

Langston Hughes returned to New York during a period called the Harlem Renaissance8. It took place during the
nineteen-twenties and thirties. The Harlem Renaissance was a period of great artistic9 creativity among black
people. For the first time, black artistic expression was being widely recognized. Hughes became friends with


other great black writers of the time, such as Claude McKay, Countee Cullen and Zora Neal Hurston. They hoped
that great art could change the racist10 ideas in America about African Americans.

Hughes was considered one of the leading voices of the Harlem Renaissance. He was the first poet to use the
rhythms of black music. He often wrote about the everyday experiences of black working people. And he helped
bring the movement of jazz and the sound of black speech into poetry.

VOICE ONE:

Langston Hughes experimented with his writing. Other Harlem Renaissance writers wrote traditional poems like
those of English classic poets, such as William Shakespeare. Hughes broke free with his writing and helped
change literature forever.

Hughes became firmly established as a successful writer in nineteen-twenty-six with the publication of a
collection of jazz poems called “The Weary11 Blues12.

Hughes wrote the poems in a place in Harlem where blues
music was played. He loved to write while sitting in clubs listening to blues and jazz. The title poem, “The
Weary Blues,

was written to be played with musical instruments. The poem perfectly13 expressed the desire of
Langston Hughes to combine black music and speech in his poetry.

VOICE THREE:

“I got the Weary Blues and I can’t be satisfied. Got the Weary Blues and can’t be satisfied. I ain’t happy no
mo’
and I wish that I had died.

“And far into the night he crooned that tune14. The stars went out and so did the moon. The singer stopped playing
and went to bed

while the Weary Blues echoed15 through his head. He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.

VOICE TWO:

Poems in “The Weary Blues”
are warm and full of color. They have a sense of freedom, like that of jazz
music. Langston Hughes was excited about the new form of poetry he had discovered for himself.

(((THEME)))

VOICE ONE:

This Special English program was written by Cynthia Kirk. It was produced by Caty Weaver16. The poetry was
read by Langston Hughes and Shep O’Neal. I’m Mary Tillotson.

VOICE TWO:

And I’m Steve Ember. Join us again next week for another PEOPLE IN AMERICA program on VOA when we
finish the story of the life of Langston Hughes.


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点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 celebrated iwLzpz     
adj.有名的,声誉卓著的
参考例句:
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
2 autobiographies f2cdb4f6f9dc2f372896a22a3192ad84     
n.自传( autobiography的名词复数 );自传文学
参考例句:
  • The series was based on the autobiographies of the author. 这部连续剧是根据那位作家的自传拍摄的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • There are some songs and, recently, a few autobiographies about peasant experience. 有些歌曲描述了农民的经验,最近还出了几本自传。 来自互联网
3 injustice O45yL     
n.非正义,不公正,不公平,侵犯(别人的)权利
参考例句:
  • They complained of injustice in the way they had been treated.他们抱怨受到不公平的对待。
  • All his life he has been struggling against injustice.他一生都在与不公正现象作斗争。
4 reproduce yVkxZ     
v.生育,繁殖,复制,重做
参考例句:
  • The machine can reproduce a key in two minutes.这机器能在两分钟内复制一把钥匙。
  • The picture will reproduce well.这照片会印得很清楚。
5 racism pSIxZ     
n.民族主义;种族歧视(意识)
参考例句:
  • He said that racism is endemic in this country.他说种族主义在该国很普遍。
  • Racism causes political instability and violence.种族主义道致政治动荡和暴力事件。
6 fully Gfuzd     
adv.完全地,全部地,彻底地;充分地
参考例句:
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
7 noted 5n4zXc     
adj.著名的,知名的
参考例句:
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
8 renaissance PBdzl     
n.复活,复兴,文艺复兴
参考例句:
  • The Renaissance was an epoch of unparalleled cultural achievement.文艺复兴是一个文化上取得空前成就的时代。
  • The theme of the conference is renaissance Europe.大会的主题是文艺复兴时期的欧洲。
9 artistic IeWyG     
adj.艺术(家)的,美术(家)的;善于艺术创作的
参考例句:
  • The picture on this screen is a good artistic work.这屏风上的画是件很好的艺术品。
  • These artistic handicrafts are very popular with foreign friends.外国朋友很喜欢这些美术工艺品。
10 racist GSRxZ     
n.种族主义者,种族主义分子
参考例句:
  • a series of racist attacks 一连串的种族袭击行为
  • His speech presented racist ideas under the guise of nationalism. 他的讲话以民族主义为幌子宣扬种族主义思想。
11 weary 5gewe     
adj.疲劳的,使人疲劳的;vi.厌烦,不耐烦
参考例句:
  • He has laid out all his strength and is weary.他使出了全部气力,非常疲倦。
  • I am weary of his constant complaints.我对他不断发牢骚感到厌烦。
12 blues blues     
n.抑郁,沮丧;布鲁斯音乐
参考例句:
  • She was in the back of a smoky bar singing the blues.她在烟雾弥漫的酒吧深处唱着布鲁斯歌曲。
  • He was in the blues on account of his failure in business.他因事业失败而意志消沉。
13 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
14 tune NmnwW     
n.调子;和谐,协调;v.调音,调节,调整
参考例句:
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他写了一段曲子,并在钢琴上弹给我们听。
  • The boy beat out a tune on a tin can.那男孩在易拉罐上敲出一首曲子。
15 echoed b98e2ddefe638c4665b15b4df9c5e432     
重复,随声附和( echo的过去式和过去分词 ); 类似; 发射(声音等); 发出回声
参考例句:
  • Their shouts re-echoed through the darkness. 他们的喊声回荡在黑暗中。
  • Their footsteps echoed in the silence. 他们的脚步声在一片寂静中回荡着。
16 weaver LgWwd     
n.织布工;编织者
参考例句:
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
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TAG标签:   America  Langston  Hughes
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