ISBN : 9780190623968
Which Sin To Bear? mines Langston Hughes's creative work, newspaper columns, letters, and unpublished papers to reveal a writer who faced a daunting array of dicey questions and intimidating obstacles, and whose triumphs and occasional missteps are a fascinating and telling part of his legacy. David E. Chinitz explores Hughes's efforts to negotiate the problems of identity and ethics he faced as an African American professional writer and intellectual, tracing his early efforts to fashion himself as an "authentic" black poet of the Harlem Renaissance and his later imagining of a new and more inclusive understanding of authentic blackness. He also examines Hughes's lasting yet self-critical commitment to progressive politics in the mid-century years and shows how, in spite of ambivalence-and, at times, anguish-Hughes was forced to engage in ethical compromises to achieve his personal and social goals.
1. Becoming Langston Hughes
2. Producing Authentic Blackness
3. Authenticity in the Blues Poetry
4. The Ethics of Compromise
5. Simple Goes to Washington: Hughes and the McCarthy Committee
6. Speak to me now of compromise: Hughes and the Specter of Booker T.
Appendix A: Hughes's Senate Testimony in Executive Session
Appendix B: Hughes's Public Testimony