I ask you to help the gods to make me good, and to make me clean, make me strong and fine that I might stand aflame before my people, powerful and wise, with eyes that can discern the ways of truth. I am nothing now — no more than a body of dust without wisdom, having no right to see. Physically and spiritually I pass through the dark valley, a dryness in my throat, a weariness in my eyes, fingers twisted in to strange numb shapes when I wake up at night, the mind troubled in the face of things it does not understand, the mouth silent because there is no one to talk to, the sweet air burning the lungs, the hot sun cold to the body.
Remembering Langston Hughes: His Art, Life, and Legacy Fifty Years Later is a local and national forum on Langston Hughes.
Langston Hughes has long shaped people’s understanding of themselves and of the United States more broadly. His powerful written works have provided insight into our painful past and hope for a future beyond the ills that have plagued our society. He was the “Bard of Harlem” and he remains America’s Bard.
This conference commemorates Hughes 50 years after his passing, exploring his art, life, and legacy as viewed by many of the top Hughes scholars, literature scholars, biographers, writers, and poets working today. The conference is organized by Wallace Best and is free and open to the public.