“On the steps of Langston Hughes’ abandoned Harlem-based home grew a new idea that will change the course of a young black man’s future. Erica Buddington, an educator, and scholar from New York, sat on those steps of the famed poet’s home every day for lunch, alone, with her thoughts on how to make kids love to learn again. One day while enjoying her afternoon meal, an unnamed caretaker of Hughes’ 127th and 5th Avenue property interrupted her routine. After noticing Buddington’s daily pattern for quite some time, he asked her if she’d like to see inside of the historic building, which hasn’t been opened for years. She swiftly obliged, not knowing that her curiosity would act as a catalyst in fulfilling her dreams. As she marveled at the decoration and inner structure of Hughes’ abode, an image began to project in her mind with every step she took.
“I don’t know how or why this began to happen in my mind, but I just started seeing little boys running around with notebooks and doing creative writing with letterman jackets,” the Hampton University graduate said. “As I walked out, I called my friend, and I told her about the experience. I said, ‘I can’t wait until I can start a school that’s like a league of little Langstons.’ And she said, ‘You should call it the Langston League.”
The Langston League seeks to address educational and opportunistic inequalities in underserved neighborhoods, with a focus on S.T.E.A.M.d. fields–science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and design.
While increasing exposure, awareness, and programming is placed on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics portion of S.T.E.A.M.d., students traveling up the academic pipeline in these communities, are rarely exposed to Arts and Design aspects of the discipline.
Our long-term vision is to become an anchor in the historical neighborhood of the Harlem Renaissance, or other underserved communities where selected teens will be a part of a new wave of a cultural, social, digital, and artistic explosion, of the millennial era.
We teach a variety of genres, including fiction, memoir, poetry, playwriting, and scriptwriting. Students will read, analyze, and discuss important works, while learning to find their own writing voice.
Students learn some front end web development and digital design and create a completed portfolio, by the end of their Langston League session.
Students utilize all skills taught, during their Langston League session to put on a huge culminating showcase. Showcases include: spoken word poetry, literary readings, dance, and digital set design.