DVD and DVD + 3-Year Site/Local Streaming
61 minutes, 2002 Producer: Darralynn Hutson, Producer/Director: Jamal Joseph
ABOUT THE FILM
Langston Hughes was one of the most prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance and is often referred to as Harlem's poet laureate. This film shows how Hughes successfully fused jazz, blues and common speech to celebrate the beauty of Black life. Hughes' Dream Harlem presents a vision of the esteemed poet in present-day Harlem and makes an important case for Hughes' impact on hip-hop and the spoken-word community.
This multi-layered documentary includes roundtable discussions of his contributions and a tour of Hughes' Harlem hang-outs. The distinguished actor/activist Ossie Davis offers the narration in his soulful baritone, while his wife and collaborator, the renowned Ruby Dee, reflects on Hughes' life with such notable personalities as poet Sonia Sanchez and music industry icon Damon Dash. The artists testify to his continuing impact on their work and his steadfast racial pride and artistic independence. Hughes' Dream Harlem will inspire students to discover Hughes' work while encouraging them to pursue their own writing.
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"Hughes' Dream Harlem links the poetic voice of African Americans from the Harlem Renaissance to today's Def Poetry Jam. It demonstrates continuity from Harlem of the past to the socio-political issues facing Africans in America today in the present."
Danny Simmons, Executive Producer, Def Poetry
"Hughes' Dream Harlem makes the connection to today's spoken word movement inspired by the music-based poetry form that Langston invented."
St. Clair Bourne, Filmmaker
"Imaginatively filmed, this fine program is recommended for both school and public libraries."
"The interviews are incredibly powerful. This fascinating film should be a part of African American history, poetry and literature collections."