Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hold fast to dreams . . .

So with that in mind, give a birthday salute to two giants of the Harlem Renaissance:  James Price Johnson (February 1, 1894–November 17, 1955), pianist/composer and James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967), best known as the poet Langston Hughes.

Among his many achievements, James P. Johnson is credited with introducing the stride piano style and composing The Charleston.

Poet, playwright, novelist, and journalist, Langston Hughes is known as the Poet Laureate of the Harlem Renaissance.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed —
Let it be that great strong land of love . . .
- Langston Hughes 

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly. . .

A note of interest: The Opera De Organizer. These two gentlemen collaborated in the late 1930's on the creation of a one-act opera De Organizer.  I wonder if they ever celebrated their birthdays together . . .

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