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Feb 26, 2019

Black History Month: Langston Hughes

As we near the close of Black History Month, Equality NC hopes that you’ve enjoyed and learned from the handful of black LGBTQ icons we’ve uplifted over the past several weeks. Today we’re ending (for now) with Langston Hughes, an American writer whose work continues to touch, shape and inform the lives of readers today.

Hughes’ work spans the spectrum of poetry, novels, fiction and plays, providing rich and insightful portrayals of black life in America. His creative work imparts a long-lasting commentary on the nuances of American black identity from the 1920s-1960s, and provides intimate, authentic accounts of the love, suffering, and cultural production surrounding black experience during this period of history.

While Hughes did not live a publicly gay lifestyle, biographers and academics have confirmed the late poet’s queerness and found beautifully coded language that speaks to it in his work.

“In all my life, I have never been free. I have never been able to do anything with freedom, except in the field of my writing.” --Langston Hughes

Equality NC -- and our work over the last 40 years -- owes so much to black thinkers and creators like Hughes, and everyone that we’ve highlighted this month. We’re committed to honoring their legacy and work by remembering that black history isn’t just one month -- it is the foundation upon which American culture and our movement was built.

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