This essay probes the resonance of Langston Hughes's writings from the vantage point of twenty-first century America. More specifically, the author points up Hughes's capacity to provide succor and comfort for contemporary readers who have suffered in the wake of death, including the death of Trayvon Martin and the racial overtones involved. Drawing from both personal and professional experience, the author demonstrates how Hughes's poetry can be interpreted in spiritual terms. At the same time, the author reexamines Hughes's racial politics, especially his criticism of a young black poet, whom many believe to be Countee Cullen, at the outset of his famous essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.”

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