Writer and activist Langston Hughes at 100

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Langston Hughes centennial has taken center stage here this month, with an exhibit of Hughes’ papers at Yale’s Beinecke Library, showing through April 20, and celebrations at local libraries and schools. To celebrate the centennial of the great poet, writer and activist and African-American History Month, the People’s Weekly World is hosting a special program Feb. 24 at the New Haven People’s Center.

“Langston Hughes at 100: A Voice for Equality and Peace – Then and Now” will highlight his life and writings in relation to today’s efforts to build a broad front for peace and equality at home and abroad. Among his many activities against racism and for African-American equality, Hughes traveled to Spain in the fight against fascism in the 1940s.

Agnes Timpson, president of the New Haven People’s Center, will give personal recollections of Hughes. “No one with a progressive heart will want to miss this,” said Timpson. “I tremble to remember first hearing of, listening to and reading Langston Hughes and being exposed to the meanings and sounds of his words.”

Rachel Rubin, of the American Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and James Smethurst, of the Afro-American Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts, will speak on Hughes’ writings and contributions as an activist.

Both are presenting papers Feb. 22 at the Hughes centennial program sponsored by the African-American Studies Department at Yale.

Several young people will read from Hughes’ writings. The works of local artist Wilfred Rembert will also be on exhibit.