Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Langston Hughes chat with Lawrence Journal World

This morning I had my first experience as a live chat-ter with the local newspaper. My husband and I co-authored a book on Langston Hughes in Lawrence, and as we near his birthday, Feb. 1, and in conjunction with Martin Luther King Day, I was asked to participate at the paper offices. Here's the link to this online interview:



  1. Are there any museums in the Kansas City/Lawrence area that have information about Langston Hughes?

    Thank you,

    Erica Jackson
    Writing Teacher
    Shawnee Mission School District

  2. The short answer is no. The appreciation of Hughes in our area is appalling. Until the 1970s, no one acknowledged his importance. Part of the problem was the impression Rampersad and other biographers gave that his time in Lawrence was negligible, and his intellectual home was Harlem. My husband's and my research builds on some 1970s community scholars who did a few interviews and found his homes in Lawrence. Katie Armitage's online tour of his Lawrence connections and our book are the only significant study of his time in Lawrence. Yet we find he spent most of those years, from age 3 mo. to 13-14, in Lawrence. His mother took him for a few months at a time or less to Topeka, KC, and Col. The rest of the time he was with his grandmother on Ala. St. or NY St. and his family had been in the Lawrence area since 1870 and had a distinguished history also.