INSCRIBED BY LANGSTON HUGHES
HUGHES, Langston. Famous American Negroes. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1954. Quarto, original orange paper boards, original dust jacket. $4800.
First edition of this collection of 17 short biographies of famous African Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Paul Laurence Dunbar, boldly inscribed in the year of publication by Langston Hughes to an old high school friend who later became a prominent labor historian: "Especially for Henry Kraus—with sincere regard—Langston Hughes. New York 2/26/54."
Langston Hughes' Famous American Negroes was his first foray into history and comprises brief biographies of 17 famous African Americans. "In the culminating story of the struggle to be equal many valiant men and women have brought their race and their nation forward. With integration a focus of national interest, this book seems an intelligent reference" (Kirkus, contemporary review). Hughes profiles a number of widely known American Americans such as Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Paul Laurence Dunbar, W.C. Handy, Marian Anderson, Jackie Robinson, and others. This copy is boldly inscribed to Henry Kraus, a Cleveland high school friend of Langston Hughes. Kraus later became a prominent labor and European art historian. His involvement in labor began when he organized the Flint Sit-Down Strike at GM, often credited with turn the United Auto Workers into a major union force. Kraus was also the first editor of the UAW newspaper, The United Auto Worker. Kraus subsequently moved to Paris and became a foreign correspondent World Wide Medical News Service, before establishing himself as a historian.
Book about-fine, bright dust jacket very good with reinforcement to verso, chipping to extremities and spine ends, affecting text on rear panel advertisement; light toning to spine. A most desirable inscribed copy with interesting provenance.