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Langston Hughes in Lawrence: Photographs and Biographical Resources Hardcover – December 10, 2004
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Excerpts from Hughes' autobiographical "The Big Sea" inform the discoveries, and effective use of the scholarly biographies for this small volume that can be held in the hand while walking or driving in historic Lawrence.
This was the place of the first battles between proslavery and free-state adherents that preceded the Civil War and earned the nickname "Bloody Kansas." The winning of freedom through this fight, especially by John Brown, who later attacked slavery at Harpers Ferry with the husband of Hughes' grandmother, Lewis Leary, is central to understanding African American history in the locality of abolition. This is a nice book for a trip to Lawrence and to the local museum. Maps, photos, love of place.
"LANGSTON HUGHES IN LAWRENCE is a remarkable portrait of a place that nurtured a man known for his words more than one hundred years after his birth. We owe a debt of gratitude to Low and Weso for bringing Hughes' boyhood home alive, for returnign us to those years between 1902 and 1915. Here we can see and imagine the world that made its permanent mark on the foremost poet of the 20th century" -- Maryemma Graham, Langston Hughes National Poetry Project, University of Kansas.
"No previous scholar of Langston Hughes' boyhood in Lawrence, Kansas has examined the complexities in Hughes' multiracial family or in his community with the comprehensiveness and insight that Denise Low and Thomas Weso provide in their new study." -- Elizabeth Schultz, University of Kansas
LANGSTON IN LAWRENCE..., by Denise Low and T.E. Pecore Weso, professes to outline and show most of the physical places incidental to the life of Langston Hughes during his early years as a boy in Lawrence, Kansas. Here, it succeeds very well. The city has maintained much of its historical legacy. The reader is allowed to see places where Langston walked in his youth and talked about in his two autobiographies and in those biographers like Arnold Ampersad and Faith Berry. There is good material to get a general idea of the place and time lived in by Langston.
But, the weight of this book is how it takes great pains to trace Langston Hughes heritage up to him. The authors go into great detail to tell who was who on the family tree, their identity, their contributions-- dubious and otherwise, and who was white and who was black and how all of this contributed to Langston creativity and concerns about injustices against black Americans and people in general.Read more ›