From the publication of his first book in 1926, Langston Hughes was America's acknowledged poet of color, the first to commemorate the experience--and suffering--of African-Americans in a voice that no reader, black or white, could fail to hear. In this, his last collection of verse, Hughes's voice is more pointed than ever before, as he explicitly addresses the racial politics of the sixties in such pieces as "Prime," "Motto," "Dream Deferred," "Frederick Douglas: 1817-1895," "Still Here," "Birmingham Sunday." " History," "Slave," "Warning," and "Daybreak in Alabama." Sometimes Ironic, sometimes bitter, always powerful, the poems in The Panther and the Lash are the last testament of a great American writer who grappled fearlessly and artfully with the most compelling issues of his time.
The last and most explicitly political book of verse by one of the great poets of our century. Published just before his death in 1967, Hughes' sometimes bitter, sometimes ironic, but always powerful poems address the racial politics of the 1960s.
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October 25, 2011
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