The Darker Brother

Hughes Langston Hughes was the first African-American to live by his writing, the first to recognise the potency and beauty of black popular forms - the blues, jazz, jive and street language - and base his work on these.

Hughes has been immensely influential, not least on the black British poet Fred D'Aguiar.

In The Darker Brother he investigates his life and work, hearing from his biographer, Arnold Rampersad, the veteran jazz writer Dan Morgenstern, from Bonnie Greer, and Toure, the young black short-story writer and editor of Rolling Stone.

But D'Aguiar goes beyond the journalistic and responds to Hughes in new poems of his own, recorded on the streets of Harlem, the New York subway and the docks from which he sailed to Africa.

Poems, interviews, music, archive of Hughes himself and the sounds of Harlem flow like song, then cut from one idea to another like jazz.

The Darker Brother is a radio documentary but also be-bop and blues: a blues for Langston Hughes


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