The New Negro Theatre



program: via Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America

photo: National Endowment for the Arts, Photograph © Van Vechten Trust, From ‘O, Write My Name’: American Portraits, Harlem Heroes , Courtesy Smithsonian America Art Museum

“[Langston] Hughes was a prolific writer who worked in many genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, musicals, and children’s books. As a popular newspaper columnist, Hughes created a fictitious Harlem narrator named Simple… Deeply interested in developing a black theater, Hughes founded the … New Negro Theater in Los Angeles in 1939… His life and work were enormously important in shaping the artistic contributions of the Harlem Renaissance. He wanted to tell the stories of his people in ways that reflected their actual culture, including both their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and language itself.”

Text except from


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