In 1949, poet Langston Hughes spoke at the Allen High School in Asheville. One of the students in attendance was Eunice Waymon, later known professionally as Nina Simone. In time, the poet and the singer developed a unique relationship, which author and N.C. State University professor W. Jason Miller is currently documenting in an online archive, Backlash Blues: Nina Simone and Langston Hughes.
It was with great interest that I read of Langston Hughes’ visit to Asheville to speak at the Allen School for Girls in the winter of 1949, but left out was a significant first meeting — that between Mr. Hughes and Eunice Waymon, who would in a few short years be known by her stage […]
Poet Langston Hughes visited Asheville in 1949, offering a series of talks. Not everyone in town agreed on the poet’s merit.
‘The Deepness of Blue’ signals intentionality. Though the chorus has several members of color, ACS has invited singers from other local choruses and African American musicians, including soloists and a pianist, to participate.
“I would like to ask you, the editor, what is the purpose of a newspaper? Is it not to report the news, to give its readers a full account of all important events, as soon as possible after they have taken place?” writes Anne Hunter Jenkins of Fletcher, N.C. in her 1949 letter to the editor.