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    Langston Hughes

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    February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967

    Here's a surprising one: poet Langston Hughes was part Jewish. That's right, Langston Hughes, at the forefront of the Harlem Renaissance, claimed to have had a Jewish ancestor. Talk about an easy profile to write!

    We're gonna act surprised (done), make some snarky remarks about all the best poets (even the black ones) being Jewish, talk about Whitey always bringing people (Jews/blacks) down... The profile basically writes itself.

    Except... Well, we had to look it up. How exactly is Hughes part Jewish? Perhaps his Jewish ancestors were part of the abolitionist movement? Something glorious and honorable, showing that deep connection that exists between Jewish and black people?

    Oh. You don't say. Crap.

    Hughes' great-grandfather was Jewish, alright. He was a Jewish slave trader.


    Well, not all Jews are glorious and honorable, but... shit.

    Sometimes, surprises can be so disappointing...

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    October 18, 2010

    See Also

    Josephine Baker

    Luis de Carabajal

    Sammy Davis Jr.

    Allen Ginsberg

    Dorothy Parker
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