The Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center of the Queens Library will be nationally recognized on Saturday, February 9 as a Literary Landmark by United for Libraries, as the first public institution named for the famed poet/author of the Harlem Renaissance.
In her letter to Queens Library C.O.O Tom Galante, United for Libraries Executive Director Sally G. Reed said, “I am most pleased that you’ve applied for this designation for a man who had such significant impact on African-American literature and American literature generally.”
Hughes wrote over 860 poems in his lifetime, and was heralded as an author of short stories, plays, essays, anthologies and as a journalist from the 1920’s until his death in 1967.
Although Hughes lived in Harlem, the library was named in his honor in 1969 when it opened for public service.
Langston Hughes Community Library is home of the Langston Hughes, housing New York State’s largest public circulating collection of print and non-print material on the black experience. This collection is now estimated at over 45,000 titles, including approximately 1,000 volumes of theses and dissertations on Black Literature.
The ceremony will be part of the 28th Annual Langston Hughes Celebration, with a plaque presentation by Rocco Staino, United for Libraries board member emeritus and director of the Empire State Center for the Book. Activities will continue with a screening of the biographical film “Hughes Dream Harlem” by Darralyn Hudson, a lecture by author Jamal Joseph with a special musical rendition of Hughes’ poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by the IMPACT Performing Ensemble. The day continues with “The Jacob Lawrence Migration Series” by MOMA staff member Marcia Garcia, a lecture on Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance by historian Rashidah Ismaili Abu Bakr.
Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall will present six scholarships for African American Heritage Month scholarships, and the program will close with a musical performance, “Music from the Mind of the Trumpet” by Eddie Allen and Friends.