Langston Hughes And The Poetry Of A Dream Legally Deferred

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Conference Papers -- Law & Society


African American Studies


African American writer Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was one of the most politically alert American writers of his era and wrote numerous works about issues of race, ethnicity, and rights; the predicament of workers; lynching; and so on. Specifically, he wrote numerous poems about legal issues, including segretated public facilities, the Scottsboro Boys' trial (which ultimately turned into a Supreme Court case), Brown v. Board of Education, Jim Crow Laws, Roosevelt's failure to bring the New Deal to blacks, Roosevelt's failure to desegregate the armed services, and so. My paper will analyze the ways in which Hughes wrote poetry about legal issues, and the paper will invite an audience of law-and-society scholars to bring their knowledge to bear on Hughes's "literature of law" and Hughes's perspective on African Americans' "American Dream," which Hughes saw as being deferred by immoral and unconstitutional laws. ..PAT.-Unpublished Manuscript