Langston Hughes Illustrations
Langston Hughes (l), Horace Cayton, and Arna Bontemps converse outside the
Parkway Community House, 51st St. and Parkway (now Martin Luther King Drive)
in the 1940s. Bontemps wrote to Cayton about the photograph in 1969: ”The
picture is unbelievable! Alberta and others have even called it beautiful.
The date was probably 1947, but I had forgotten about the picture being taken,
and I had certainly not seen it before. As soon as I can arrange, I will have
it framed for my study. Thank you ever so much for keeping it and then sending
it. Does a negative exist, in case I have a chance to put it in a book? We
have to start thinking about history!” Both the letter and photo are used by
special arrangements with the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American
History and Literature, Chicago Public Library. (Cayton 020; photographer is unknown.)
Signed copyright page of first edition of Hughes’ Freedom’s Plow. Used through the courtesy of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American
History and Literature, Chicago Public Library.
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