Past Event

The Weary Blues: Langston Hughes/Jazz/The Harlem Renaissance


Please join NJMH Senior Scholar Loren Schoenberg and our distinguished co-host Professor Robert G. O’Meally as they explore the Harlem Renaissance, a magical flowering of creativity centered in and around Harlem during the 1920s. As a matter of fact, the great majority of artists associated with that movement did not welcome jazz, in fact, they shunned it. There were, however, a few members who not only loved jazz, but welcomed it with open arms.

This three-part series will explore the music that Duke Ellington wrote during those years, alongside the authors Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, and the few others who were ahead of their time in appreciating jazz’s significance.

Robert G. O’Meally is the Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has served on the faculty for twenty-five years. The founder and director of Columbia’s Center for Jazz Studies, O’Meally is the author of The Craft of Ralph Ellison, Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday, The Jazz Singers, and Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey.

6/15 THE WEARY BLUES: Langston Hughes, The Harlem Renaissance, and Jazz

6/22 DEAR OLD SOUTHLAND: Zora Neale Hurston and the boundaries of The Harlem Renaissance

6/22 BLACK AND TAN FANTASY: Duke Ellington’s early visions of jazz