“Usually over a glass of beer, he tells me his tales, mostly in high humor, but sometimes with a pain in his soul as sharp as the occasional hurt of that bunion on his right foot.”
~ Langston Hughes, 1961
Who is Simple???
For this week’s episode of Real Ballers Read, we introduce you to one of Langston Hughes’s most hilarious and lesser known characters: Jess B. Semple, nicknamed “Simple”.
Simple and his stories are a celebration of many of the black folks that Hughes encountered in Harlem. Through short dialogues between himself and Simple, Hughes brings readers’ attention to the humor, rhythm and blues of everyday Black life.
We’ve been laughing and learning so much along the way of reading Hughes’s Simple stories, and we’re excited to share that with you this Black History Month. Podcast dropping today everywhere you listen!
:40 Miles’ trip to Ghana
6:15 Jan’s trip to DC
8:15 Jan Claiming Author Status
15:07 Langston Hughes’ explanation of Simple
20:29 How People Talked then vs Now
22:39 Internet Culture and Attention Spans
29:06 “Temptation” by Langston Hughes
34:31 The importance of rhyming
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