Salters Scene: Black History Month At the African Burial Ground

David Mills
David Mills

By Udo Salters

On Saturday February 7th,  the African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan featured David Mills’ dramatic performance of Langston Hughes’ work for Black History Month.

Langston Hughes, who died in 1967, wrote poetry, novels, plays and columns.

David Mills
David Mills

David Mills is a Poet, Author and Actor who lived in Langston Hughes’ Harlem New York home. For this Black History Month program, Mills condensed his performance to fit within a 60 minute window. This was more than enough time for the works of Langston Hughes to come through the various characters played by Mills and touch your emotions.

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Seamlessly moving through Hughes’ work, Mills brought to life poems like The Negro Speaks Rivers, Let America Be America Again, I Too Sing America, Harlem and characters like Madam and Jesse B. Semple.

The performance concluded with a Q&A session with David Mills. One of things David shared during the Q&A is that he found Hughes’ ability to take complex ideas and write about them in more simple terms compelling.


The beauty of having a Black History event at the African Burial Ground, is its Black History. The grounds were rediscovered in 1991 and has been established as a site where Africans were buried during the 1600s and 1700s. There is an outside memorial and an indoor museum

For more information about the African Burial Ground and its coming events, log on to

David Mills is scheduled to return to the African Burial Ground on February 27th for a writing workshop.

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