Lot 68: Langston Hughes Mentions His 1934 Book "Ways of White Folks"
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: HUGHES, LANGSTON. (1902-1967). American poet and leader of the Harlem Renaissance. APCS. (“Langston Hughes”). 1p. Postcard. Chicago, March 8, 1940. To notable Civil War scholar and autograph collector ARNOLD F. GATES (1914-1993). Written in blue ink on the verso of an illustrated postcard of the Chicago skyline. ********** “Thanks for your birthday note and the news about Hughie. My only book of stories is ‘Ways of White Folks,’ published some years ago…”********** After spending his adolescence in the Midwest, studying at Columbia and Lincoln universities, living abroad, and working as a busboy in Washington, D.C., Hughes became well known as one of the progenitors of “jazz poetry” and the voice of the Harlem Renaissance, the post-World War I African-American cultural movement the epicenter of which was in Harlem. His seminal poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” was published in 1920 in The Crisis, the magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which continued to feature Hughes as a mouthpiece of the movement. Although Hughes was from the middle class, his poetry sought to illuminate the plight of the working class as well as the racism within the black community. Hughes published numerous collections of verse and short stories, as well as novels, works of non-fiction, children’s books, and dramatic works. His 1934 The Ways of White Folks was his first published collection of short stories and one of his best-known works. ********** Gates, a well-respected amateur historian of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, devoted 50 years to researching those subjects, reviewing books for the Lincoln Herald and contributing to such works as the anthology Lincoln for the Ages. He was an avid letter writer and “friend and unofficial agent of many a noted author,” (“Autographica Curiosa: How Not to Impress Emily Post,” Autograph Magazine, Butts). ********** Very fine, but for some damage due to previous mounting to the upper corners of the Chicago skyline image.