Sunday, January 31, 2016

A MCCBD Follow-Up Note and Celebrating Langston Hughes


A note from the co-founders of the MCCBD event

Of course the big news this week was the occurrence and success of Multicultural Children’s Book Day on 1/27. This huge online nation event continues to grow and be successful beyond our wildest dreams. There were so many amazing book reviews with activities offered up by review bloggers in honor of this event. In fact, if you revisit the MCCBD Link-up, you’ll see over 250 multicultural book reviews from several hundred reviewers that were posted by the end of the day.
Our mission for this event was to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries. Thanks to extended media attention, social media and the help of all involved with Multicultural Children’s Book Day, we feel we achieved all of that {and then some!} and we couldn’t be prouder!
Read about some of Valerie Budayr's one of the co-founders of this event, top picks books with related activities from the event. 
http://www.jumpintoabook.com/2016/01/weekend-links-the-thrill-of-multicultural-childrens-book-day/  which include: 









Langston Hughes ( February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967)

Langston Hughes was a writer of plays, novels, children's books, poetry, short stories, operettas and newspaper columns. Hughes was probably the foremost poet among African Americans and the first to make a living from his work. Dubbed the “Negro Poet Laureate”and the “Poet Laureate of Harlem,” he focused on the lives of urban blacks and was especially known for his sardonic and witty depictions of racism in the United States. He sought not only to sing of Black America in his poems, but to do it in everyday language. 
He was the first and most successful writer to incorporate African-American musical traditions like blues, jazz and spirituals into literature.  Hughes was one of the earliest innovators of the then new literary art form jazz poetry. In 1926 he published his first book of poetry "The Weary Blues". Despite all his travels and moves, Harlem remained central in his life during the 1920's. He was most impressed with the writings of Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg. During the Harlem Renaissance his literary works helped shape American literature and politics. Through his poetry, novels, essays and children's books he promoted equality, condemned racism and injustice.
In 2002 on the 100 celebration of his birth date, United States issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor.
I found it difficult to choose a favorite poem because there are so many of his poems I have come to appreciate over the years. This Langston Hughes book of poetry is one of my favorites.
Many of Hughes’s best early poems explore the nature of and the beauty in the African element of African-American identity.
My People
The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.
Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful,also are the souls of my people.

Dreams are a recurring theme in Hughes’s work. For Hughes, poets are not just dreamers, but dream keepers for their people.
The Dream Keeper
Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

"Humor is laughing at what you haven't got when you ought to have it.”
Langston Hughes



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