Langston Hughes: On "Come to the Waldorf-Astoria"

In the midst of that depression, the Waldorf-Astoria opened. On the way to my friend's home on Park Avenue I frequently passed it, a mighty towering structure looming proud above the street, in a city where thousands were poor and unemployed. So I wrote a poem about it called "Advertisement for the Waldorf-Astoria," modeled after an ad in Vanity Fair announcing the opening of New York's greatest hotel. (Where no Negroes worked and none were admitted as guests.)

The hotel opened at the very time when people were sleeping on newspapers in doorways, because they had no place to go. But suites in the Waldorf ran into thousands a year, and dinner in the Sert Room was ten dollars! (Negroes, even if they had the money, couldn't eat there. So naturally, I didn't care much for the Waldorf-Astoria.)

From The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes. Copyright © 1940 by Langston Hughes

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Criticism Overview
Title Langston Hughes: On "Come to the Waldorf-Astoria" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Langston Hughes Criticism Target Langston Hughes
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 19 Oct 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication The Big Sea: An Autobiography
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