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Name given to the titular character, properly Jesse B. Semple, in several works by Langston Hughes. A black resident of Harlem, Simple is a seemingly naïve or stupid man but actually smart in the vein of the shrewd cracker-barrel homespun figure. The satirical sketches in which he surveys contemporary issues were published in newspapers and are collected in Simple Speaks His Mind (1950), Simple Takes a Wife (1953), Simple Stakes a Claim (1957), The Best of Simple (1961), and Simple's Uncle Sam (1965). Simply Heavenly (1963) is a musical play by Hughes adapting some of these stories.

Subjects: Literature.

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