Southern, Joplin NAACP

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

From Staff Reports

In honor of a Missouri legacy, the 15th Annual Langston Hughes Celebration will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in Webster Hall Auditorium.

Hughes was a creative writer born in Joplin in 1902. He was a significant figure in the historical period known as the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s.

“He is one of the most distinguished African American scholars in the country,” said Dr. Doris Walters, professor of English. “I think anyone who attends will learn a lot.”

In recognition of Hughes’ work, Dr. R. Baxter Miller, a past Langston Hughes Prize winner and highly regarded scholar, will speak at the event. Miller has written for and served as editor of numerous publications across the country.

Miller was one of nine honored Senior Lilly Teaching Fellows at the University of Georgia in 1994-95. He is a United Negro College Fund Distinguished Scholar at Xavier University in New Orleans and Mellon Visiting Professor at the University of San Francisco. He is the Executive Editor of The Langston Hughes Review, the past president of the Langston Hughes Society and the founder of the Division of Black American Literature and Culture in Modern Language Association.

There will be music from the Missouri Southern Jazz Quintet and students and faculty will be performing poetry throughout the evening.

A drawing for teachers and prospective teachers for an activity book titled 101 Ways to Celebrate the Life and Work of Langston Hughes will also take place.

Ten copies of this book and handouts about Hughes’ related programs will be given away during the event.

This co-sponsored event by the Joplin NAACP will be held on campus but is not limited to University attendance.

“It’s going to be a community event,” Walters said. “It’s free and open to the public.”

For more information on the 15th Annual Langston Hughes Celebration please contact public information at 625-9506.