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Willie the Kid signs on as producer of PBS Langston Hughes documentary

Tatyana Jenene

 // Feb 3, 2019

Willie the Kid's Instagram

Rapper Willie the Kid has joined on as a producer for the new documentary "I Too Sing America: Langston Hughes Unfurled."

As part of the PBS' "American Masters Series," the documentary will go in detail about the life of the African American writer and activist who gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance. Willie is joining the project alongside Oscar-nominated Screenwriter Kevin Willmott who is the co-director. Willmott is best known for co-writing Spike Lee's BlakkKlansmen and Chi-Raq.

Madison Davis Lacy— who is a four-time Emmy Award-winning producer/director— joins Wilmott as co-director.

Willie is expected to heighten awareness among Generation X and Millennials about the relevance of Hughes to the twenty-first century. "As an African American Writer and creative, my inspiration stems from the legacy of Langston Hughes," Willie said in a statement obtained by REVOLT. "I got involved with this project as a tribute to his work. This homage is long overdue."

Recently, "I, Too, Sing America: Langston Hughes Unfurled" has received a media development grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The projected release date for the film is Fall 2020.

Langston Hughes, born February 1, 1901, became a published poet in 1921 when his now-signature poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" was published in the NAACP magazine called The Crisis. In 1926, he released his first book of poems called The Weary Blues. His work often reflected the working class Black family in America. His writing was full of love, pain, struggle, and passion. He attacked stereotypes while uplifting Black Americans in a way to combat self-hate in the community.

Hughes died on May 22, 1967, due to complications of surgery related to prostate cancer. His ashes were buried underneath a floor medallion at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The center's floor's African cosmogram design, named "Rivers," was inspired by Hughes' poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," with the line "My soul has grown deep like the rivers" engraved within the center.

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