This collection contains advertisements, programs, and other printed material related to the literary career of Langston Hughes. The first series contains items documenting Hughes’s many poetry readings, lectures, addresses, and other public appearances. The second series contains items related to performances of Hughes’s works, chiefly his plays, musicals, and operas.
Throughout his career, Langston Hughes frequently traveled across the United States to lecture and to read his poetry at schools, colleges, and other venues. The first series provides information not only about these appearances themselves but also about how they were publicized and marketed. In addition, the short biographical notes on Hughes that appear in many of the programs document his public image throughout four decades of his literary career.
Langston Hughes was also a prolific playwright. The second series of this collection illustrates the range of Hughes’s dramatic achievement. The works represented include plays, gospel musicals, and the libretti to several operas and cantatas composed by Jan Meyerowitz. Some items in this series document several productions of a single show.
Where possible, likely years have been provided for items listing only month and day. By consulting published correspondence, biographical information, and a perpetual calendar, it was often possible to determine the year with near certainty. Dates that can be conjectured from available evidence but not definitively established are noted with a question mark.