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Langston Hughes and American Lynching Culture$
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W. Jason Miller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035338

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035338.001.0001

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Negotiating Censorship in the 1950s

Negotiating Censorship in the 1950s

Lynching as Analogy

(p.77) 3 Negotiating Censorship in the 1950s
Langston Hughes and American Lynching Culture

W. Jason Miller

University Press of Florida

The chapter introduces the 1950s as a time when Hughes had to deal with intense censorship concerns and lynching was witnessing a change of form. It takes a close look at two of his poems “Not for Publication” and “Dream Deferred.” It introduces the use of lynching by Hughes as an analogy. It presents the means by which Hughes translated elements from the visual world of photography into the verbal realm of poetry. The chapter portrays Hughes's growing appreciation for photography in the 1950s. Hughes's relationship with photographers Roy DeCarava, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Griffith J. Davis, and Marion Palfi inform this chapter's reading of “Dream Deferred.” The chapter also shows how and why Hughes placed “Not for Publication” (1953) in the black press as well as in two international publications.

Keywords:   censorship, analogy, poem, photography, Langston Hughes, lynching, Not for Publication, Dream Deferred, black press

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