Celebrating its centennial, in 2018, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park has been host to many important moments in American history (Marriott International is No. 9 on the DiversityInc 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list). 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.
About Washington Marriott Wardman Park
Celebrating its centennial in 2018, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park , is situated at 2660 Woodley Road at Connecticut Avenue, NW near myriad of dining, and nighlife experiences in Washington DC’s Woodley Park, Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle. Among Washington, DC meeting hotels, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park rises above the rest. With a blend of charm, modern elegance and a historic landmark setting, this hotel’s 1152 guest rooms including 104 suites, 195,000 square feet of event space including 95,000 square feet of exhibit space; make it an ideal meetings and convention destination for world class events. For more information or reservations contact your travel professional, call the hotel directly at (202) 328 -2000 or visit www.wardmanparkmarriott.com.
About Busboys and Poets Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted…a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body, and soul…a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide…we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world. Be sure to follow @busboysandpoets on social media, and for more information, or to stop by anytime, visit www.busboysandpoets.com.