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PEOPLE IN AMERICA - Langston Hughes, Part Two

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 17, 2002: Langston Hughes, Part Two

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 finish telling


about the life of Langston Hughes, known as the poet voice of African Americans. He was one of the most
important writers of the Harlem Renaissance1.
((THEME)
)


VOICE ONE:
Langston Hughes was born in nineteen-oh -two. His parents separated when he was little. Langston grew up with
his grandmother who told him stories about their family ’s fight against racial injustice2. He developed a love of
reading books as a way to deal with loneliness and a feeling of rejection3 from his parents. His love for reading
grew into a desire to write.

 

As a young man, Langston traveled to Europe and Africa working on ships. He wrote poems
and short stories during his travels. A few of the writings he sent home were published, which
helped establish him as a professional writer.

VOICE TWO:

By nineteen-twenty-five, Langston Hughes had returned to the United States and was living
in Harlem in New York City. This was during the Harlem Renaissance, a period of great
artistic4 creativity among blacks who lived there.

Hughes discovered a new way of writing poetry, using the rhythms of jazz and blues5 to support his words. His
first collection of poetry, called the “Weary6 Blues,

was published in nineteen-twenty-six. Hughes wrote
poetry about the common experiences of black people. People said they could see themselves in the words of his
poetry.

VOICE ONE:

Hughes had worked many different jobs, but wished to make a living as a writer. Wealthy white supporters of the
Harlem Renaissance helped Hughes until he could support himself. Critic Carl Van Vechten had helped to get the
“The Weary Blues”
published. Van Vechten was one of the first to recognize the new styles of the writers of the
Harlem Renaissance and their importance in African American literature. Another supporter of the arts, Amy
Spingarn, gave Hughes money to complete his education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

Missus Charlotte Mason began supporting Hughes in Nineteen Twenty-Seven. In
nineteen-thirty, he published a novel, “Not Without Laughter,

that made him
very famous. His relationship with Missus Mason ended about the time the book
appeared. After that, Hughes sank into a period of intense personal unhappiness.

((MUSIC BRIDGE))

VOICE TWO:

In the early nineteen-thirties, Langston Hughes traveled to Cuba and Haiti. He later
traveled across the southern United States, doing poetry readings and trying to sell


his books. Hughes was likeable and gained many readers during his visit to the
South.


He also began to write many different short stories that were published in
magazines. In these, he was able to discuss ideas related to black pride, racism7 and
other issues of black life.


In nineteen -thirty-two, Hughes traveled to the Soviet8 Union. He became an active
supporter of communism. He believed communism was fairer to minorities. During
this time, his writing also became more militant9. Several of his poems expressed
support for social and political protests.


Later, his writings began to examine the unfairness of life in America. He wrote
about people whose lives were affected10 by racism and sexual11 conflicts, violence in the southern United States,
Harlem street life, poverty, racism, hunger and hopelessness.


VOICE ONE:


Hughes wrote one of his most important works in nineteen-twenty-six, “The Negro Artist and the Racial
Mountain.

It spoke12 of black writers and poets who want to be considered as poets, not black poets. Hughes
thought this meant they wanted to write like white poets. He argued there was a need for race pride and artistic
independence:


CUT ONE: “THE NEGRO ARTIST AND THE RACIAL MOUNTAIN”


“We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or
shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they aren’t, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful.
And ugly too.If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either.
We build our temples for tomorrow, as strong as we know how. And we stand on top of the mountain, free within
ourselves.


VOICE TWO:


As his success as a writer grew, Langston Hughes began to explore other ways to spread his message. He wrote
children’s stories and several plays. By nineteen-forty, he had opened black theater groups in Harlem, Chicago
and Los Angeles.


While writing for a black newspaper, Hughes created someone called “Jesse B. Semple.

The name “Jesse B.
Semple”
represented Hughes’s writing style: Just Be Simple. Semple was a common man of the people who
“tells it like it is.

His experiences help other people understand the world in a clearer light. Hughes spoke
through his character:


CUT TWO: HUGHES READING FROM “SIMPLE”


Here is more of “Jesse B. Semple,

read by Langston Hughes.


CUT THREE: HUGHES READING FROM “SIMPLE”


VOICE ONE:


Langston Hughes was known to be very supportive of young writers and poets. Some said his willingness to help
young writers was a result of his unhappy childhood. Wherever he went, from the Caribbean to Africa to Russia,
he connected with writers and gave them support. He also translated some of their writings into English and
included them in collections he produced.


Not everyone praised Hughes

work. Some critics said his writings were too simple and lacked depth. Some
blacks condemned13 his informal writing style and honest descriptions of black life. They also criticized his use of
blues and jazz in his poetry and his expressions of sympathy for working people.



However, his supporters praised his straightforward14 writing style. They said he demonstrated that writing does
not have to be complex to be great.

VOICE TWO:
In nineteen -fifty-one, Hughes wrote one of his most successful collections of jazz poetry called, “Montage of
a
Dream Deferred15.

The poems are expressions of everyday life in Harlem. They take the reader through one
complete day and night in Harlem.


In some of the poems, Hughes uses a new kind of jazz played in Harlem at the time, called “Be-Bop.

The
poems deal with the problem of being black in America. In “Harlem,

the most famous poem in the collection,
he asks:

CUT FOUR: “MONTAGE OF A DREAM DEFERRED”
VOICE ONE:
There were difficult times for Langston Hughes. Conservatives16 in the United States were suspicious17 of his ties to


extremist movements, his activism, and his support of the Soviet Union for its treatment of minorities.
In nineteen -fifty-three, he was forced to appear before Senator18 Joseph McCarthy ’s committee on subversive19
activities to explain his interest in communism. Under pressure during the nineteen-fifties, Hughes softened20 the

voice of his poems and rejected his militant past. He was criticized later by some black activists21 for not being
militant enough.
Hughes continued to write and publish throughout the nineteen-fifties and sixties. And he won several important

awards during that time. He also taught at Atlanta University and the University of Chicago.
VOICE TWO:
Hughes died of cancer in nineteen-sixty-seven in Harlem, New York. His home on One-Hundred -Twenty-


Seventh Street has been made a national landmark22.


Experts say Langston Hughes helped to change the sound of American literature. They say he wrote poems the
world will always know.
((THEME)
)
VOICE ONE:
This Special English program was written and produced by Cynthia Kirk. Our studio engineer was Mick Shaw.


I’m Mary Tillotson.
VOICE TWO:
And I’m Steve Ember. Join us again next week for another PEOPLE IN AMERICA program on the Voice of
America.

 

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点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 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。
2 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。
3 rejection FVpxp     
n.拒绝,被拒,抛弃,被弃
参考例句:
  • He decided not to approach her for fear of rejection.他因怕遭拒绝决定不再去找她。
  • The rejection plunged her into the dark depths of despair.遭到拒绝使她陷入了绝望的深渊。
4 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。
5 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。
6 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。
7 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。
8 Soviet Sw9wR     
adj.苏联的,苏维埃的;n.苏维埃
参考例句:
  • Zhukov was a marshal of the former Soviet Union.朱可夫是前苏联的一位元帅。
  • Germany began to attack the Soviet Union in 1941.德国在1941年开始进攻苏联。
9 militant 8DZxh     
adj.激进的,好斗的;n.激进分子,斗士
参考例句:
  • Some militant leaders want to merge with white radicals.一些好斗的领导人要和白人中的激进派联合。
  • He is a militant in the movement.他在那次运动中是个激进人物。
10 affected TzUzg0     
adj.不自然的,假装的
参考例句:
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
11 sexual YiLzlw     
adj.性的,两性的,性别的
参考例句:
  • He was a person of gross sexual appetites.他是个性欲旺盛的人。
  • It is socially irresponsible to refuse young people advice on sexual matters.拒绝向年轻人提供性方面的建议是对社会不负责任。
12 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
13 condemned condemned     
adj. 被责难的, 被宣告有罪的 动词condemn的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • He condemned the hypocrisy of those politicians who do one thing and say another. 他谴责了那些说一套做一套的政客的虚伪。
  • The policy has been condemned as a regressive step. 这项政策被认为是一种倒退而受到谴责。
14 straightforward fFfyA     
adj.正直的,坦率的;易懂的,简单的
参考例句:
  • A straightforward talk is better than a flowery speech.巧言不如直说。
  • I must insist on your giving me a straightforward answer.我一定要你给我一个直截了当的回答。
15 deferred 43fff3df3fc0b3417c86dc3040fb2d86     
adj.延期的,缓召的v.拖延,延缓,推迟( defer的过去式和过去分词 );服从某人的意愿,遵从
参考例句:
  • The department deferred the decision for six months. 这个部门推迟了六个月才作决定。
  • a tax-deferred savings plan 延税储蓄计划
16 conservatives e1c31bfde4cf53ee9aefb319059420fb     
保守的人( conservative的名词复数 ); (英国)保守党党员,保守党支持者
参考例句:
  • The Conservatives were then the governing party . 那时是保守党当政。
  • The Conservatives were once more in power. 保守党再次执政。
17 suspicious DrLw1     
adj.可疑的,容易引起怀疑的,猜疑的,疑心的
参考例句:
  • A man was hanging about the house in a suspicious manner.一个男人在房子周围可疑地荡来荡去。
  • He's so suspicious he would distrust his own mother.他这个人疑心太重,连自己的母亲也不相信。
18 senator UzJwm     
n.参议员,评议员
参考例句:
  • The senator urged against the adoption of the measure.那参议员极力反对采取这项措施。
  • The senator's speech hit at government spending.参议员的讲话批评了政府的开支。
19 subversive IHbzr     
adj.颠覆性的,破坏性的;n.破坏份子,危险份子
参考例句:
  • She was seen as a potentially subversive within the party.她被看成党内潜在的颠覆分子。
  • The police is investigating subversive group in the student organization.警方正调查学生组织中的搞颠覆阴谋的集团。
20 softened 19151c4e3297eb1618bed6a05d92b4fe     
(使)变软( soften的过去式和过去分词 ); 缓解打击; 缓和; 安慰
参考例句:
  • His smile softened slightly. 他的微笑稍柔和了些。
  • The ice cream softened and began to melt. 冰淇淋开始变软并开始融化。
21 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
22 landmark j2DxG     
n.陆标,划时代的事,地界标
参考例句:
  • The Russian Revolution represents a landmark in world history.俄国革命是世界历史上的一个里程碑。
  • The tower was once a landmark for ships.这座塔曾是船只的陆标。
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TAG标签:   America  Langston  Hughes
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