▶︎ Langston Hughes, Religious Thinker

In the second episode of the AAS 21 podcast, Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. spoke with Wallace Best, Professor of Religion and African American Studies about his forthcoming book, Langston’s Salvation: American Religion and the Bard of Harlem. In the book, Professor Best encourages readers to read Langston Hughes religiously, and as a humanist in the tradition of American Religious Liberalism. Though Hughes was criticized, censored and even humiliated by other writers, and federal investigators, because of some of his more radical work like the poem ‘Goodbye Christ,’ Best contends that even through imagining a critical discourse with God, Hughes demonstrates an acknowledgement as to the existence of God. In fact, Hughes was a lover of gospel music and an avid churchgoer, never belonging to one church, but present in his own way in many, reflecting Hughes’ evasive way of being, a style Best describes as influenced by Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg. Best’s new work is the result of 12 years of archival research and “communing with Langston.”

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This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Social Media Manager / Producer: Allison Bland
Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

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Upcoming Events

Screening of 'Strong Island' (2017)
Oct 18, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
Book Release: 'Langston's Salvation: American Religion and the Bard of Harlem' by Wallace Best
Nov 9, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
Remembering Langston Hughes: His Art, Life, and Legacy Fifty Years Later
Nov 10, 2017 - Nov 11, 2017
The Princeton & Slavery Project Symposium
Nov 17, 2017 - Nov 18, 2017
Titus Kaphar, Special Exhibit and Conversation
Nov 18, 2017
Making History Visible: Faculty Roundtable on Art and Visualizing the American Nation
Dec 1, 2017 @ 5:30 pm
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African American Studies for the 21st Century

© 2017 The Trustees of Princeton University
  1. 'The Formation of Religio-Racial Identity' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Judith Weisenfeld 47:32
  2. 'What Was African American Marriage?' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Tera Hunter 44:59
  3. 'Before Cornel West, After Cornel West' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Cornel West 52:46
  4. 'An Insistence on Not Being Discouraged' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Chika Okeke-Agulu 55:19
  5. 'A Through Line for African American Studies' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Imani Perry 44:07
  6. 'Activism and Risk in the Face of Trump' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Asanni York, Destiny Crockett 43:02
  7. 'Langston Hughes, Religious Thinker' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Wallace Best 45:50
  8. 'Convergences and Dissonance' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Keeanga-Yamahatta Taylor, Naomi Murakawa, & Imani Perry 60:08