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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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2153554,204 (4.34)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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This was a beautiful ensemble of incredible pictures intertwined with Langston Hughes’ famous poem, “My People”. This is an easy to read poem, but maybe content that cannot truly be understood for younger readers. I think this story is a poetry/picture book for readers more appropriate for 3rd or 5th graders, but younger readers could enjoy the photographs. I think this is a great poem with a central message of pride, self-esteem, and appreciated for your heritage. I loved this book because it was beautifully photographed, and the pictures really enhanced the words of the poem. This is a very empowering book, and I can imagine this book encouraging children to be proud of who they are and where they came from. I also liked the pictures because it is different from your average picture book. I liked that the author included powerful photographs, and I believe these could be just as powerful and engaging to younger readers as illustrations. ( )
  BeckieZimmerman | Apr 7, 2014 |
This poem is about the beauty of African-American people. My favorite part of this book was the photographs. They are of African-Americans from all different ages and correlate with certain words of the poem. For example, when the poem says “so the eyes of my people,” the photographs emphasize the eyes of the people in the pictures. The portrayal of African-Americans was very respectful of the culture. I also liked the simplicity of the poem. The meaning was very clear, that the African-American community is beautiful just like anything else that is beautiful in the world. In very few words the author expresses a profound message of the value of African-Americans. The combination of the photographs and words made this poem-picturebook a great contribution to children’s literature. ( )
  EmilySadler | Apr 2, 2014 |
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this poetry book by Langston Hughes. First, I really enjoyed that all the illustrations took the form of photographs of real people. I think this helped to display Hughes’ message to the reader. Secondly, I enjoyed the use of repetition throughout the poem. For example, the phrases “beautiful also” and “of my people” are repeated several times throughout the poem. The main message of this poetry is that all people are beautiful no exceptions. ( )
  kjacob9 | Mar 24, 2014 |
I liked this poetry book. I enjoyed the illustrations of the people because the illustrator showed how beautiful each person is by the way their eyes sparkle or how big their smile is. I also liked how the author was talking about the how the souls of the people are beautiful and how the illustrator drew people dancing and moving to the rhythm of their souls. The main message of this story is that everyone is beautiful in his or her own way. ( )
  lpicke2 | Mar 24, 2014 |
In my opinion, this is a wonderful book. Paired together in a beautiful way is the poem My People, by Langston Hughes, with stunning photographs by Charles Smith Jr. In doing this, the poem and accompanying pictures eloquently encapsulate the beauty, glory, and authentic soul of being a black American in today’s world. The pictures were realistic photographs with a sepia overlay to them and they definitely enhanced this poem. Also, I loved how when the poem said, “Beautiful, also, is the sun” the individual in the picture looked like he was looking up at the sun. I found this evident throughout the book; whatever the poem described, the individual would be looking in that direction in the photograph. This poem used simple but patterned language, and I think that this made the words and pictures even more powerful. For example, the phrase “of my people” was continually repeated after a comparison to elements of the world. This held true throughout the book and I thought that it was a wonderful way to describe the people. “The night is beautiful, So the faces of my people. The stars are beautiful, So the eyes of my people. Beautiful, also, is the sun. Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.” All in all I thought this was a great book, with beautiful pictures and a great poem. The big idea of this book would be that everyone and everything is beautiful, and one doesn’t need lengthy descriptions or extraordinary pictures to describe themselves. The simplicity of both the words and pictures in this book is what truly enhances the message of beauty. ( )
  sarabeck | Mar 11, 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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