Fight for Freedom and Other Writings on Civil Rights PDF

  • Hardcover
  • 296 pages
  • Fight for Freedom and Other Writings on Civil Rights (Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Vol 10)
  • Langston Hughes
  • English
  • 01 December 2016
  • 9780826213716

2 thoughts on “Fight for Freedom and Other Writings on Civil Rights (Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Vol 10)

  1. Kusaimamekirai Kusaimamekirai says:

    Let each one of us let the whole race be ceaselessly on guard against the loss of spiritual integrity So long as we maintain that integrity we cannot be beaten down notin a thousand years I will not allow one prejudiced person or one million or one hundred million to blight my life I will not let prejudice or any of its attendant humiliations and injustices bear me down to spiritual defeat My inner life is mine and I shall defend and maintain its integrity against all the powers of hell —James Weldon Johnson At the start of the 1960’s the NAACP was for many ordinary black people in danger of becoming somewhat irrelevant It was largely run by upper middle class men who showed an increasing reluctance to intervene in the hot button issues of its time From the Freedom Rides to sit ins at lunch counters to mass protests the NAACP were often either silent or even critical of civil disobedience preferring instead its decades old method of fighting ineuality through the courts This is not to say that the NAACP was not still at this time hugely influential organization doing important work It certainly was However be it through jealousy of upstart organizations that were rivals for its power later in the decade Roy Wilkins of the NAACP would famously cozy up to presidents Johnson and Kennedy and present himself as a “sensible” alternative to Martin Luther King or fear of alienating its wealthy and moderate white financial backers the NAACP seemed like an anachronism at the start of a new decade Enter Langston Hughes Commissioned to write a history of the organization the NAACP hoped that Hughes would provide a glowing chronicle of all they had accomplished and continue to Reading the finished work it is fair to say Hughes accomplished this It is as well written and glowing of a hagiography as anyone could have hoped for In between checklists of everything the NAACP had seemingly and singlehandedly accomplished in the previous fifty years one fully expects the modest altruistic and tirelessly hardworking Roy Wilkins to leap off the page and save a little old lady and her dog from some random inferno That credit seems to be primarily given to leadership at the NAACP rather than its fieldworkers the exception being a brief section about Medgar Evers written in the present tense and before his murder which in retrospective is both sad and eerie ‘A man’s state is like his house If it has defects he tries to remedy them That’s what my job is I live here to better it for my wife and kids and forall the wives and all the kids who expect and deserve something better than they are getting from life’ is particularly unfortunate Hughes at times also whether through willful omission or lack of information overstates the influence of the organization We see this most clearly in the Scottsboro Arkansas case of nine young black men falsely accused of raping a white woman It was a case the NAACP was silent on despite its notoriety as it wound through the courts The only organization willing to legally and financially help were the Communists who a young Langston Hughes ironically enough lauded for their willingness to stick their necks out where others wouldn’t That the NAACP would later force the Communists off the case and claim sole credit for the Scottsboro 9’s exoneration was not the NAACP’s finest moment Perhaps it should be expected that in a piece Hughes was being paid for he would write a revisionist history of the events of 30 years earlier It is disappointing nonetheless Even knowing all of this it is easy to become lost in the uintessentially beautiful and lyrical prose you’d expect from Hughes Despite its beauty however one feels at times that Hughes message gets slightly confused In an effort to paint the NAACP as the only organization since its inception that has done anything for black people Hughes often criticizes others for things the NAACP was guilty of Take for example this fine passage about many in Washington’s desire to slow roll integration“Some Washington officials have spoken out pretty clearly in support of civil rights although counseling Negroes to wait a while What while of course is what the youngsters want to know What while? Their daddies waited a while their grand daddies waited a long long while To the great grand daddies of these young Negroes today the white world owes beaucoup back money lots and lots for working and waiting a while back pay for free labor slave labor hopeless expectations payments long overdue since 1619 Where is that money? Where is that freedom? And where is this freedom today? Those who are young want it now before they get as old as those who will probably never have anything before they die ‘All deliberate speed’ is not now If one cools off today he might be stone cold dead tomorrow and still no ballot still no hospital to get well in or die in still no hot dog at that bus station lunch counter Hot dog? Are you kidding? We want what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming We want ‘my country tis of thee sweet land of liberty’ We want everything we ever heard about in all the Fourth of July speeches ever spoken Don’t say it because you might be declared subversive but we want freedom It’s beautiful soul stirring stuff but actually is an apt description of the NAACP’s unstated policy of inaction until the courts have ruled on it As Hughes so lyrically states people were tired by 1960 of being told to wait It was a time for movement not for obtaining unenforceable decades long decrees from courts I don’t mean to belittle the contributions of the NAACP despite the fact that they at times worked at cross purposes with other civil rights organizations as the decade wore on Nor do I mean to be overly critical of Hughes in his full throated support of them Rather I was hopeful for a nuanced and broader look at solutions to the very grave issues they faced at the start of a new decade The writing is at times still electric but lacking acknowledgement of the roles played by so many others in the fight for freedom

  2. Lanier Lanier says:

    I chose this book particularly since “Simple” is the common man’s voice during such upheavals as WWII where paradoxically blacks and other minorities were fighting for those same freedoms they were being denied back here at “home” Additionally Simple would speak to other contradictory systems that oppressed and subjugated peoples’ for decades

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Fight for Freedom and Other Writings on Civil Rights (Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Vol 10)✺ [BOOKS] ✮ Fight for Freedom and Other Writings on Civil Rights (Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Vol 10) By Langston Hughes ❄ – Nearing the end of a distinguished literary career that spanned nearly fifty years Langston Hughes took on the daunting task of writing the official history of the national Association for the Advance Nearing the end of Freedom and MOBI ó a distinguished literary career that spanned nearly fifty years Langston Hughes took on the daunting task of writing the official history of the national Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP Beginning with the social political and economic contexts that led to the founding of the NAACP in and ending with a summary of its targeted goals for Hughes attempted to write a history that would be comprehensive Fight for PDF \ in scope and singular in its purpose of highlighting the ways in which the Association had a direct and positive influence on racial justice in the United States Focusing on the individuals who had the greatest impact on the NAACP and the issues with which the organization was most concerned in its first fifty years of existence Hughes produced the widely acclaimed Fight for Freedom striking an exceptional balance between biography and cultural history Long before for Freedom and Epub â the for Freedom and Other Writings Epub / publication of Fight for Freedom Hughes had begun writing nonfictional prose about these same issues as a regular columnist and essayist for the nation's most influential African American publications including the Chicago Defender and Crisis A selection of these popular columns and other essays—which reveal the extent to which Hughes's uniue varied and sometimes Blues tinged narrative voice shifted in tone over the course of his extensive career—is included in this volume Hughes intersperses historical for Freedom and Other Writings Epub / facts with compelling anecdotes that often frame subtly ironic commentaries on various themes The result is history that provides a lens through which to view Hughes's attitudes in the early s toward the ways the NAACP addressed the vital social cultural political and economic issues central to its agenda Fight for Freedom and Other Writings on Civil Rights makes a uniue contribution to the oeuvre of an African American writer whose full significance to American literature history and culture will continue to be defined well into the twenty first century.

About the Author: Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was an Freedom and MOBI ó American poet social activist novelist playwright short story writer and columnist He was one of the earliest innovators of the then new literary art form jazz poetry Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance He famously wrote about the period that Harlem was in vogue.