Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance.
I remember the first time I ever heard the name Langston Hughes. It was a Saturday morning at the Venettes Cultural Workshop, my dance school in Long Island, NY. I went there every weekend (almost) from the time I was 21 months until my sophomore year in high school. I learned a lot about dance, myself, and most importantly my heritage. I remember my Aunt Vanessa saying you will all need to recite this poem for your dance. Langston Hughes', "Ballad of the Landlord".
I learned that poem...
Landlord, landlord, My roof has sprung a leak.
Don’t you ’member I told you about it / Way last week?
These steps is broken down. / When you come up yourself
It’s a wonder you don’t fall down.
Ten Bucks you say I owe you? / Ten Bucks you say is due?
Well, that’s Ten Bucks more’n I’ll pay you
Till you fix this house up new.
And have yet to forget it.
Thank you for your contributions, your shoulders we stand on.