Study Guide

Beale Street Love What's Up With the Title?

By Langston Hughes

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What's Up With the Title?

In a poem with only seven lines, the title becomes all the more important. And if you're anything like Shmoop, when you first read the title "Beale Street Love", you were probably wondering where in the world Beale Street is.

We'll answer that question for you in the "Setting" section, but for now, let's focus on how this title plays into the poem itself. From the first line, we know that this poem is about love. But it's not just any love. It's Beale Street Love.

That means that whatever love we encounter in the poem is going to be somehow unique to or typical of the love you might find on Beale Street, with its blues bars, jazz clubs, and alcohol-fueled romance. While the title points to the fact that Beale Street was a place where black Americans were free to celebrate their culture, the poem itself, we'll soon find, shows us the darker side of that celebration.

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