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Author: Hughes, James Mercer Langston (1902-1967) inscribed

Year: 1949

Publisher: Alfred A Knopf

Place: New York


xviii+136 pages with six woodblock prints by Jacob Lawrence. Octavo (8 ½" x 6") bound in original publisher's quarter cloth over blind stamped yellow boards with gilt lettering to spine in original jacket. Inscribed First edition.

Langston Hughes' poetry and fiction portrayed the lives of the working-class blacks in America, lives he portrayed as full of struggle, joy, laughter, and music. Permeating his work is pride in the African-American identity and its diverse culture. Hughes stressed a racial consciousness and cultural nationalism devoid of self-hate. His thought united people of African descent and Africa across the globe to encourage pride in their diverse black folk culture and black aesthetic. Hughes was one of the few prominent black writers to champion racial consciousness as a source of inspiration for black artists. His African-American race consciousness and cultural nationalism would influence many foreign black writers, including Jacques Roumain, Nicolás Guillén, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Aimé Césaire. Along with the works of Senghor, Césaire, and other French-speaking writers of Africa and of African descent from the Caribbean, such as René Maran from Martinique and Léon Damas from French Guiana in South America, the works of Hughes helped to inspire the Négritude movement in France. A radical black self-examination was emphasized in the face of European colonialism. In addition to his example in social attitudes, Hughes had an important technical influence by his emphasis on folk and jazz rhythms as the basis of his poetry of racial pride.


Inscribed on front end paper. Jacket rubbed and sunned at spine and edges, spine panel detached with small nicks and closed tears at extremities else a very good copy in a good jacket.