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Langston Hughes in Lawrence: Photographs and Biographical Resources Hardcover – December 10, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Denise Low has published 20 books of poetry and essays. Among her publications are Words of a Prairie Alchemist (Ice Cube Press, 2006), Ghost Stories of the New West (Woodley Memorial Press, 2010), and Langston Hughes in Lawrence (Mammoth Press, 2004). Most recently, she is the author of NATURAL THEOLOGIES: ESSAYS ABOUT LITERATURE OF THE NEW MIDDLE WEST (The Backwaters Press, 2011). She has served on the board of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, where she was also president and conference chair. She has taught at Haskell Indian Nations University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Richmond. In addition to being the Kansas Poet Laureate from 2007-2009, she is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Newberry Library, Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Kansas Arts Council, Kansas Center for the Book, and the Roberts Foundation National Writing Competition. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Wichita State University and a PhD from the University of Kansas. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Mammoth Publications (December 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976177323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976177326
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,448,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book of photographs of places important to the life of Langston Hughes, African American writer, in his boyhood residence in Lawrence, Kansas. The local historians and museum people who researched and wrote the book were inspired by the designation of his home as a national poetry landmark by the American Academy of Poets in 2004. The authors have interwoven aspects of Hughes' life with the images of local places such as the grocery store owned by his grandfather, Charles Langston, in the 1880s and the centrality of the African American church in his life, and that of the black community in Lawrence.

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.
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Format: Paperback
This ground-breaking book shows us the places as well as the history surrounding those places that shaped Langston Hughes' childhood and family history. With vivid pictures and descriptions, a complete geneology, and an awesome amount of new discoveries about where and who influenced Hughes' growth, this book is a gem in Langston Hughes scholarship.

"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
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Format: Paperback
Langston Hughes wasn't ashamed of having two African American parents, being African American and a person of African decent!!!!!. There is no better testament to this fact than every word he put onto paper and every action of his during his lifetime!!!!!. But, this did not lead him to deny the complicated blood history of black Americans and himself. He was fully aware that unlike the pure African, black Americans are a composite of many strands of blood, a multicultural people of their own unique Diaspora who continue even today, with the exception of an inaccurate and racist political correct labeled decided few, to have their white, Asian, and Native American heritages "denied" them.

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.
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