On August 6th, 2018, Valparaiso University hosted the “Explore the Life of Langston Hughes” event in the Christopher Center lecture hall. Thirty educators, students, and community members attended the event, sitting in the tiered rows of the room. I began the event by introducing myself and explaining my motivation to teach my hometown more about Langston Hughes. Then, I gave a presentation explaining a brief overview of Hughes’ life and work, embedded below. Throughout this presentation, I told stories that I had learned in Paris and explained how they intertwined with those Ms. Rush-Collet had shared with me.
Excerpt from “Poem  To the Black Beloved” Introduction A prolific poet and author, Langston Hughes published his first poem at just 19. His extensive collection of letters, held in Yale’s Beinecke Library, document collaborations with countless male artists like Countee Cullen and Carl Van Vechten, and his autobiography The Big Sea discusses his interactions… MORE
Historical Overview During the 1920s, African American jazz musicians, authors, photographers, and more all flocked to Harlem for support in their artistic endeavors. Many of these creators then crossed the Atlantic to Paris, where they were less stifled by the tense race relations of the United States. France, with its higher levels of respect for… MORE
Introduction Rarely does one hear of history enthusiasts searching French administrative buildings in the quest to discover American history. The connections between the 13 colonies and their most powerful European ally mean that taking the time to wander around Parisian streets can lead you to the foundation of a nation. One such location is the… MORE