This article seeks to give a pedagogical approach to Langston Hughes most anthologized poems, “A Negro Speaks of Rivers” and “Harlem.” These poems, like any good vinyl album, deserve their heavy rotation. However, we (the audience or readers) need to fine- (or refine-) tune our listening to hear what these poems have been delivering since their original publications. Using the work of Beyoncé and her sister Solange, this article, part personal journey, part pedagogical framework, offers a contemporary listening approach to help nascent listeners/readers of Hughes drop the needle on his work over and over.

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