Carmaletta M. Williams provides high school teachers with background on Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance as well as help in teaching Hughes's poetry, short stories, novels, and autobiography.


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Though high school English teachers often include a few poems by Langston Hughes in their curriculum, they may not know the impressive range of his writing, which includes poetry, novels, short stories, plays, librettos, political propaganda, and autobiography. This volume in the NCTE High School Literature Series contextualizes the work of this key figure of the Harlem Renaissance and the New Negro Movement.

Because Hughes’s life experiences are so closely intertwined with his work, each chapter first demonstrates how Hughes’s life and art reinforce each other, with a focus on Hughes’s blues poetry, the novel Not without Laughter, his autobiography, and short stories. Each chapter closes with a section called In the Classroom, which offers practical suggestions for discussion, activities, and assignments, and includes samples of student work. A detailed chronology, a glossary of terms, and a selected bibliography round out the many useful features of this resource guide.

By combining the study of literature, music, and history, Langston Hughes in the Classroom: “Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me” provides the tools teachers need to make the works of Langston Hughes come alive for their students in the twenty-first-century classroom.
124 pp. 2006. Grades 9–12. ISBN 10: 0-8141-2561-1; ISBN 13: 978-0-8141-2561-8.

No. 25611