Academics: Majors and Programs

English Department Events & Activities

Langston Hughes Seminar

When: Tuesday, April 21 | 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Where: Spelman College, Lower Manley

If you can have a late lunch or a working lunch, please join us on Tuesday for the return of the public presentation on Langston Hughes by the students in the Langston Hughes Seminar. We will see what they have decided to showcase! There will be food or beverages, available for purchase. The presentation will be over before 5:00 p.m. 

You can learn more about Langston Hughes at these websites: 

The Langston Hughes Society:!history/cee5 

Some selected quotations by Langston Hughes: 

A biographical summary with suggested reading: 

  • Scholar, Karla FC Holloway
  • President of South-View Cemetery, Winifred Watts Hemphill
  • Filmmaker, Christine Turner
  • Novelist, Ravi Howard

Why Here? Why Now?

In this video, Spelman College assistant professor of English Michelle S. Hite, Ph.D., discusses Malcolm X, death and dying in African-American culture, why Black lives matter, and thoughts for symposium guests to consider.  

In heaping praise on the recently released film, "Selma," many film critics have noted its timeliness in light of the numerous cases of brutality and lethal violence directed towards unarmed Black American men and women, boys and girls by both police officers and average citizens. 

While we are 50 years beyond Selma, one has to ask, “When wouldn’t there have been a point in American history when the brutality, savagery, and callous disregard for Black life would not have occasioned a timely discussion?”

While it has been more than 50-years since James Baldwin’s wrote the essay, “My Dungeon Shook: A Letter to my Nephew on the Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation,” his text is far from antiquated. 

Writing to his namesake, Baldwin offers his reading of the racist country his nephew has entered: “You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being.” 

The language of value continuing to haunt the four-hour spectacle of Michael Brown’s dead body along with the failures to indict or punish the killers of Trayvon Martin, Aiyana Jones, or Eric Garner supports Baldwin’s earlier appraisal of the importance of black life in the United States. 

The symposium, sponsored by the Department of English with support from the Social Justice Fellows Program, the Office of the Provost, College Relations and the Dean’s Office, is free and open to the public.