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My People by Langston Hughes

My People (edition 2009)

by Langston Hughes, Charles R. Smith Jr. (Illustrator)

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2274351,069 (4.32)2
Title:My People
Authors:Langston Hughes
Other authors:Charles R. Smith Jr. (Illustrator)
Info:Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2009), Hardcover, 40 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Langston Hughes, photography, pride, poems

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My People by Langston Hughes



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Charles Smith's photographs wonderfully capture the sprit of this simple and powerful poem by Langston Hughes. Young and old, happy and serious, male and female, the photo's capture the beauty of the soul, which makes everyone beautiful, special, and unique.

Use this book to help students explore the theme of beauty and the comparisons in the poem. Wonderful for starting discussion about what "my people" means and the concept of beauty - in the poem vs. what is in the media and on TV (great compare and contrast exercise). ( )
  zsvandyk | Mar 12, 2015 |
Summary: This book is a poem with illustrations conveys the illustrator's view of what the poem means to him. The story talks about the night, the beauty in different shades of color in "my people"; it talks about the beauty in the sun and in souls of "my people".

Reaction: This is a simple book as far as the text but has a lot of meaning when put together with the illustrations. It can be speaking of any culture, of any people, of any race.

Extension: This can be read and then discussed to get the view of children and how they see different cultures. It could be carried on to include other such books of different culture of children in the class room and visits from the families to talk about customs they have.
  Rebecca90 | Mar 9, 2015 |

Langston Hughes created the book My People with the inspiration of his own family. This book is mainly comprised of real photographs of his family members taken by Charles R. Smith, Jr. The whole book is one quick, but inspiring poem and collection of photographs to depict the glory and pride of being an African American in the world today.

Comments (opinions/arguments):

This book may be short and simple, with few words, but I really enjoyed the lovely photographs and the meaning behind it. I find that the meaning could be harder for younger students to understand, but the pictures and the words could still be inspiring. I really liked that the photographer used a sephia photo color because it makes the pictures dark, but so bold in many ways. It puts a lot of emphasis the family members faces to really express the authors pride and glory in them. I really liked the idea that Langston Hughes wrote this about his family and the pride of being an African American. It really teaches children to be proud of who you are and that everyone is “beautiful.” I also like the poetic style of writing, for example, “the stars are beautiful, so the eyes of my people.” ( )
  BrookeMattingly | Dec 3, 2014 |
I really liked this book. The first thing I liked about it was the meaning behind it. The book was written to celebrate the beauty of African Americans. I think that this is a great basis behind a book. It shows unity and happiness from a certain race and all races should be celebrated. I also liked the words in the book. It was almost written like a poem. One of the lines was, “The night is beautiful, so the faces of my people.” The overall theme of this book is to celebrate the African American race. ( )
  david.endres | Dec 1, 2014 |
My people is a tribute poem to those which Hughes refers to as his people. The poem is illustrated through photographs that are taken in a sepia coloring. The photographer, Smith, interprets the passion and glory of being a black American today.

Poetry can be hard to introduce to a young reader, but Hughes does a great job of doing so with "My People." The book was awarded in 2010 with the Coretta Scott King Book Award which is an award based on the illustrator. The interest level of this book would be for those of the ages of preschool to third grade. Great book to introduce the poetry genre to young readers. ( )
  acahil3 | Nov 2, 2014 |
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To Charles R. Smith, the original, and all of My People
--C.R.S. Jr.
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The night is beautiful,
so the faces of my people.
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Curriculum Connection:
2nd grade Reading Standard: 2. Reading for All Purposes
Concepts and skills students master: 1. Fluent reading depends on specific skills and approaches to understanding strategies when reading v. Identify how word choice (sensory details, figurative language) enhances meaning in poetry.
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Hughes's spare yet eloquent tribute to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Smith interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today.… (more)

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