Co-hosted by the Historical Society of Plainfield / Drake House Museum and Plainfield Public Library
This program is supported, in part, by a 2021 History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands (HEART) Grant from the Union County Board of Commissioners.
Langston Hughes was a poet who utilized the American language, music, slang and religious views to educate the world about African American lifestyles during the Harlem Renaissance. His jazz poetry depicted the "low-life", or the real life experiences of blacks in the lower social-economic strata. His criticisms focused on the divisions, and prejudices, based on skin color within the black community.
Henley’s portrayal deals with the issue of how to be oneself, and encourages all to joy in the knowledge that “I too have a song to sing” and to ask the question “why not me?”
Keith Henley’s background is one of great diversity. He graduated from South Carolina State College with a major in Chemistry and minor in mathematics and biology. Later, he went on to study Theatre Education at Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey. He currently owns and operates J.O.Y. Productions, Queenie’s Homemade Sweets and Catering, & Alpha Designs. In addition, he is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for Folkloric Heritage Culture Arts Company Inc. of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Keith began his historic interpretation career with Historic Philadelphia Inc. and has since worked for American Historical Theatre and History First Hand, and has performed for the Smithsonian Associates Teaching American History program, Historic Germantown, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia as well as local libraries.