A Bibliographic Essay
Throughout four decades of literary creativity that are virtually unrivaled in American letters, Langston Hughes wrote in a diversity of genres—poetry, drama, autobiography, history, fiction, prose comedy, juvenile literature, newspaper columns, librettos—and assembled anthologies, perfected the black gospel song-play, and collaborated on translations. Hughes wrote more than fifty books with one central purpose: “to explain and illuminate, ” in his words, “the Negro condition in America” (qtd. in Emanuel and Gross, Dark Symphony 1968: 191). He presents us with a captivating multidimensional portrait of black America. He shows us how the discourse of black America informs and alters our understanding of cultural history and our appreciation of aesthetic value.
The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University include letters, manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished work, lecture notes, and various magazine and newspaper clippings and pamphlets. Additional materials are in the