The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes has long been acknowledged as the voice, and his poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, the song, of the Harlem Renaissance.  Although he was only seventeen when he composed it, Hughes already had the insight to capture in words the strength and courage of black people in America.
Artist E.B. Lewis acts as interpreter and visionary, using watercolor to pay tribute to Hughes’s timeless poem, a poem that every child deserves to know.

About Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was an an American poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. Hughes is known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote what many consider to be his signature poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, at seventeen, in 1926.E.B. Lewis is the acclaimed illustrator of many award-winning picture books, including the 2005 Caldecott Honor Book, Coming on Home Soon. He has received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Talking About Bessie, by Nikki Grimes, and his books Verivie Goes to School With Us Boys; Bat Boy and his Violin; and My Rows and Piles of Coins each won Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Awards. Mr. Lewis teaches illustration at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, and is a member of the Society of Illustrators. He lives in Folsom, New Jersey.
Published January 6, 2009 by Hyperion Book CH. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The 12 lines of the poem, considered Hughes’s signature song of the Harlem Renaissance, are poignantly expressed through the artist’s trademark watercolors, which depict in successive double-page spreads black children playing by the Euphrates, a mother and child sleeping by the Congo and fisherm...

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Publishers Weekly

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“I’ve known rivers:/ I’ve known rivers ancient as the world,” Hughes’s poem begins;

Nov 17 2008 | Read Full Review of The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Common Sense Media

The illustrator's note on the final page explains his own connection to the poem and the paintings, and adds a further element of meaning to the book.

Jan 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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