Louis Armstrong Armstrong on a stamp in 1995

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1 Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong lived between the years He was born into the segregated South in New Orleans, Louisiana. Armstrong grew up in very poor conditions. His father abandoned him when he was young, and his mother often times worked late so he spent a lot of time without adults. From a young age he explored the city of New Orleans by sneaking into various music clubs that played music called Ragtime. This type of music really influenced Louis Armstrong. He became a music fanatic. He began to develop his own type of music. This type of music was a kind of Jazz music. It was different than any other music ever developed. He played the cornet, a type of trumpet. He was such a good trumpet player and Jazz musician that he quickly became famous playing on the Louisiana riverboats. His fame spread quickly, and by the early 1920s, Armstrong was spreading his type of Jazz music in cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Armstrong is important in African American history because a lot of his songs were about how bad the segregated South was for African Americans. He talked about the poverty and poor conditions that many African Americans had to live in, in the South. At the same time, his music also gave hope to many African Americans. He wrote songs about a happy future, love, and a perfect world. This inspired many people to work hard and to dream big. Armstrong will be remembered for his help in creating Jazz music. His music still plays today, and has inspired musicians to make music ever since. Many modern day rappers listen to Louis Armstrong to be inspired for their own very successful records!

2 Langston Hughes Langston Hughes lived between the years Hughes was a very famous poet, writer, and artist. He is most famous because he contributed and added to the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was a time in the 1920s where a lot of famous African American authors, painters, and musicians lived and worked in Harlem, New York. This community of famous people discussed the problems with racism, the history of African Americans, and what can be done to make African Americans lives better. This group became so famous that many other cities around the country including Detroit, Atlanta, and Washington D.C., started to be influenced by what the Harlem Renaissance was doing. This group really helped people to start talking about equal rights for all people, no matter their skin color. As a person that influenced the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes showed his thoughts through poetry, short stories, and other sorts of writings. Hughes was a very educated man. He went to college, and then he got his masters degree. In addition, Hughes also traveled the world. All of these experiences made his poetry really good. Many white people that were not used to seeing educated African Americans in the 1920s were impressed by Hughes knowledge. Hughes poems were mostly about how African Americans should be proud to be African Americans. This was a new thought, because many African Americans at the time were ashamed to be African American because they had heard so much from racist white people telling them how African Americans were not as good as white people. Hughes helped change all this by inspiring African Americans to have pride of themselves and their skin color.

3 Babe Ruth Babe Ruth lived between the years Babe Ruth is famous because he was and still is considered to be one of the most famous baseball players to ever play the game. Even people who do not even follow baseball have heard of Babe Ruth. He helped to make baseball America s most popular sport. Babe Ruth played for two different teams in his career. The first team he played for was the Boston Red Sox. He was a star at a young age, and was known for his ability to hit really long homeruns. However, Ruth was traded to the New York Yankees in On his way out of Boston, he put a curse on the city, saying that Boston would never win a World Series again! The curse actually stayed a live for over 80 years until the red sox won the World Series in As a New York Yankee, Ruth really made a name for himself. So many people started to become baseball fans because of Ruth. He was a homerun king. He broke all sorts of homerun records. He also had a big personality. As a loud, fun, and many times rude guy, the media (newspapers, radio) loved him. Ruth was the first really big professional athlete to have a big fan base. His fan base was bigger than Michael Jordan s fan base. He was loved by so many people. In addition, he helped make baseball into what it is today. He made it popular, and made it into America s past time. Baseball is part of America s culture because of Babe Ruth.

4 Culture Culture is what surrounds people. Culture includes a community s language, religion, popular music, popular movies, popular writings, and beliefs. Not all cultures are the same around the world. For instance, American culture is very different from Japanese culture. In America we shake hands to greet each other. In Japan people bow to each other. In addition, in America we speak English, popular food includes pizza, and cheeseburgers, and most people like to music such as rap, and rock and roll. In Japan people speak Japanese, popular food includes sushi, and most people like to listen to Japanese music. This is not to say that cultures do not mix. Different cultures are influenced in different ways. For instance, sushi is now very popular in the United States, just as American food is popular in Japan. People in the past such as Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, and Babe Ruth have helped shape America s culture. They helped make America into what it is today. Today, people such as Barack Obama influence our culture s government, Lil Wayne influence our culture s music, and J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter) influence our culture s writing.

5 Louis Armstrong Armstrong on a stamp in 1995

6 Babe Ruth Babe Ruth preparing for a game.

7 Langston Hughes A picture of the cover of the Weary Blues, Hughes most famous book of poetry.

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