Langston Hughes and the *Chicago Defender*

Essays on Race, Politics, and Culture, 1942-62
Author: Edited by Christopher C. De Santis
A collection of Hughes's often overlooked journalistic writing
Paper – $23
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1995
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About the Book

Langston Hughes is well known as a poet, playwright, novelist, social activist, and brilliant member of the Harlem Renaissance, referred to as the "Dean of Black Letters" and the "poet low-rate of Harlem." In Langston Hughes and the Chicago Defender, Christopher De Santis edits a collection that shows Hughes in a different role: as a columnist for the Chicago Defender, where he chronicled the hopes and despair of his people.

For twenty years, Hughes wrote forcefully about international race relations, Jim Crow, the South, white supremacy, imperialism and fascism, segregation in the armed forces, the Soviet Union and communism, and Black art and culture. None of the racial hypocrisies of American life escaped his searing, ironic prose. As the first collection of Hughes’s nonfiction journalistic writing, Langston Hughes and the Chicago Defender is, for readers new to Hughes, an excellent introduction; for those familiar with him, it gives new insights into his poems and fiction.

About the Author

Christopher C. De Santis is a professor of African American Literature and Chair of the Department of English at Illinois State University. He is the editor of Langston Hughes: A Documentary Volume and volumes 9 and 10 of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes.


"The most persistent criticism of Langston Hughes has been that he was not a thinker, that he had no ideas to speak of, was not an intellectual, and therefore need not be taken too seriously by intellectuals and scholars. A collection of this kind is needed to do justice to the often inspired quality of Hughes's weekly journalistic writing and to expand our sense of his interests and ideas. De Santis's is the first book to bring this material within easy reach."--Arnold Rampersad, author of the two-volume The Life of Langston Hughes