Washington Marriott Wardman Park Along With Busboys and Poets Celebrate, the Great American Poet, Langston Hughes with The Weary Blues and Dedication of New Langston Hughes Suite
Celebrating its centennial, in 2018, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park has been host to many important moments in American history. In 1954, Thurgood Marshall and his colleagues stayed at the Wardman Park Hotel in unincorporated Washington, DC when he prepared and tried Brown vs. Board of Education in the Supreme Court. Langston Hughes, famous African-American Poet and Thurgood Marshall’s college friend, worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel, when he was discovered in 1925. He encountered American poet Vachel Lindsay and shared his poems. Impressed, Lindsay publicized his discovery of a new “busboy poet.”
On Langston Hughes’ birthday, February 1, Washington Marriott Wardman Park, in partnership with renowned community restaurant group and cultural hub Busboys and Poets, celebrated the great American poet with an evening of jazz and poetry and a performance of The Weary Blues, Langston Hughes’ most influential poem.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Andy Shallal, founder and proprietor of Busboys and Poets, a community restaurants that embrace diversity, art and culture,” said Bill Walsh, general manager, Washington Marriott Wardman Park, “ The past 100 years, Wardman Park has been host to many historic events that have been woven into America’s culture. It was a natural fit to partner with Busboys and Poets to help us celebrate Langston Hughes’ life and significant contribution.”
The evening kicked off with Mr. Walsh and Mr. Shallal, with the dedication of the new Langston Hughes Suite located in the historic Wardman Tower. The night’s entertainment included performances by native Washingtonian, singer, songwriter Cecily Alexa and her jazz band, a one-of-a-kind reading of The Weary Blues by Busboys and Poets’ Director of Poetry Events (DOPE) Pages Matam, and a reading of a specially commissioned poem commemorating Langston Hughes by spoken word artist, Charity Blackwell. Throughout the evening, guests were encouraged to write down an inspirational word related to Langston Hughes and poet, Dwayne B. Lawson wrote and performed on-the-spot haikus.
In addition, new the Langston Hughes Suite Experience package was revealed at the event which was designed with the Langston Hughes enthusiast in mind complete with a weekend stay in the Langston Hughes Suite, Langston Hughes’ first book, “The Weary Blues,” his and her fedoras provided by the bespoke hat maker Goorin Bros, a bottle of champagne and, in honor of Langston Hughes’ birthday 2/1, two $21 gift certificates to Busboys and Poets. The package excludes all tax, gratuity and can be booked by visiting www.wardmanparkmarriott.com.