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    Langston Hughes

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    February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967

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

    Here's what makes it difficult: Hughes' supposed Jewish great-grandfather was a slave trader. Not good. Not good at all.

    Thankfully, recent research has proved the claim to be erroneous. No, not the slave trading; the Jewish part. We're not sure if it was Hughes himself that was mistaken, or the people who supposedly quoted him.

    So, since we get to avoid the Jewish slave owner conundrum, we're quite happy that Hughes turned out to be NOT Jewish.

    Talk about surprising.

    Verdict: Not a Jew.

    October 18, 2010

    See Also

    Josephine Baker

    Luis de Carvajal

    Sammy Davis Jr.

    Emma Lazarus

    Dorothy Parker
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