The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater and politics centered in Harlem in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Watch the video above to learn about the Harlem Renaissance and read a couple poems below by Langston Hughes, a poet who was part of it.

From Poetry.org:

Harlem

What happens to a dream deferred?

       Does it dry up
       like a raisin in the sun?
       Or fester like a sore—
       And then run?
       Does it stink like rotten meat?
       Or crust and sugar over—
       like a syrupy sweet?

       Maybe it just sags
       like a heavy load.

       Or does it explode?

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

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Today is Memorial Day

American War Cemetery in Italy
Many veterans are buried abroad, near where they died during battle. Pictured is an American cemetery in Impruneta, Italy. – Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2020 occurs on Monday, May 25. 

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

from History.com

Click here to read more!

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New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s an article from Voice of America about what Americans want to do in 2016. Before you read, make a prediction about what you’re going to read. What do you think Americans will say they want to do in 2016? Will it be something about money, something about health, or something else?

voa 1

From Voice of America:

Americans don’t just want to work out more in 2016, they also want to firm up their savings accounts.

A  Nerdwallet survey conducted in December found that “increasing savings” was the top priority for 49 percent of Americans, followed by “working out” (44 percent).

“There’s definitely a connection between the two in the sense that both are about quality of life,” said Nerdwallet’s Sreekar Jasthi. “Both are about health: physical health and fiscal health.”

New Year’s Day is a federal holiday in the United States, which means most Americans have the day off from work to attend gatherings, eat special foods meant to ensure good fortune for the new year, and make a list of resolutions for 2016.

“Increasing savings” was the most popular answer on Nerdwallet’s New Year’s resolution poll. The average American only saves about 5 percent of their income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The other top priorities include losing weight (44 percent), spending more time with friends and family (37 percent), traveling more (35 percent) and getting organized (30 percent).

Paying off credit cards was most important to 29 percent of those surveyed. On average, Americans have about $15,000 in credit card debt.

“We actually thought that the percentage of the population polled that would mention credit card debt as a priority, would be higher,” said Jasthi. “This is a significant concern…a lot of people eventually have to file for bankruptcy because they can’t afford to pay it back. I think more education and more clarity around how to effectually manage use of your credit cards, and how to repay debt on your credit card, is something that’s absolutely needed.”

While 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only about 8 percent of those who make resolutions actually fulfill them. Making resolutions as specific as possible might help. For example, instead of just saying ‘increase savings’, determine an exact amount you’d like to save in 2016 and then set monthly milestones to help reach that goal.

“Solid, specific goals that you can actually visualize instead of just large umbrella terms always help,” Jasthi said. “Be realistic when you’re setting these resolutions or setting these milestones. Be as specific as possible but obviously be realistic about how you’re going to attain those goals.”

What about you? What do you want to do in 2016?

 

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Superstitions

Today is Friday the 13th. Many people think it’s an unlucky day, but others say thinking it’s unlucky is just a superstition. Superstitions are things you do or believe that bring good luck or bad luck.

Look at the picture. What in the picture brings bad luck? What brings good luck?

Click on “Continue reading” to see the answers:

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