Langston Hughes at the Third

Hendy, David (2016) Langston Hughes at the Third. [Audio]

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In 1964 - a presidential election year in the United States - the Third Programme broadcast an epic series about African-American life called 'The Negro in America'. In a coup for the BBC, it was co-produced by the great poet of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes. His series brought to the airwaves a range of sounds and voices of the Civil Rights struggle, of jazz music and black literature: sounds and voices that had rarely been heard in Britain. 'The Negro in America' is also the tale of an unlikely relationship.

'The BBC,' Hughes said, 'I love it!'. But behind this affection for an institution lies a close friendship between the American poet and his British co-producer, Geoffrey Bridson. The media historian Professor David Hendy has spent many years studying the original series and how the two men came to make it together. Now, he pieces together, for the first time, the story of 'Langston Hughes at the Third'.

David travelled to New York to record interviews with jazz pianist Randy Weston, family friend MaryLouise Patterson, cultural historian Professor Michele Hilmes, and curator Steven Fullwood from the Schomburg Center.

The programme includes highlights from the original series:
Remarkable on-location recordings of riots in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963;
writers James Baldwin and LeRoi Jones (later known as Amiri Baraka); jazz musicians Cannonball Adderley and Cecil Taylor

Much has changed in America since 1964, but it is surprising how much of the discourse from the original series remains relevant today.

A Rockethouse Production for BBC Radio 3.

Item Type: Audio
Keywords: BBC; broadcasting, Third Programme; BBC Radio 3: documentary; Langston Hughes; Geoffrey Bridson; United States; 1960s; civil rights; African-Americans; poetry
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Research Centres and Groups: Public Culture Hub
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0740 Twentieth century
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and communications > HE7601 Telecommunication industry. Telegraph > HE8689 Radio and television broadcasting
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT1501 Races Including race as a social group and race relations in general
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general > NX0700 Patronage of the arts
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0500 Poetry
Related URLs:
Depositing User: David Hendy
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2018 16:13
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2018 11:00

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