Eric, Barbara, & Channing in Conversation w/ Marylouise Patterson Author of Letters from Langston

Today on Voices from the Frontlines:

We are honored to host MaryLouise Patterson

Co-editor, along with Evelyn Louise Crawford, of Letters from Langston: from the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond

Tuesday June 29th, 2021 | 3 PM PST

Historic correspondence among Langston Hughes, Louise Thompson Patterson, William L. Patterson, Matt N. Crawford, Evelyn “Nebby” Graves Crawford—five Black revolutionaries, intellectuals, and friends and members of the U.S. Communist Party

MaryLouise will be in conversation with Eric Mann, Channing Martinez, and Barbara Lott-Holland. In discussing her famous and heroic parents, William L. Patterson and Louise Thompson Patterson she wrote,

”At some point in one’s childhood or early adolescence, as one is intellectually maturing and becoming socially and politically conscious, one is faced with the need to accept or reject being or becoming like one’s parents. One can either accept or reject one’s parents place in history. I chose to accept mine, and in so doing, I was admitting a profound indebtedness to their major contribution to who and what I became—to whom I am today.” -MaryLouise Patterson

The Labor/Community Strategy Center has its roots in the deep revolutionary traditions of Black and Third World people. Inside that vaunted group were the Black Communists, true Black Red Giants—friends and members of the CPUSA whose names include (with many others of great import) Cyril Briggs, Harry Haywood, W.E.B DuBois, Paul Robeson, Claudia Jones, Benjamin Davis. This list also includes the writers of these letters, the prolific Langston Hughes along with William L. Patterson, defender of the Scottsboro Boys and author of We Charge Genocide, Louise Thompson Patterson who was a brilliant charismatic figure and organizer of movements, plays, and the Harlem projects for Black actors and playwrights, Matt Crawford, one of the Black 22 who went to make a film and study in the Soviet Union, and Nebby Crawford who was a great friend and confidante of Langston. Join us as we discuss and make history.

A Dream Deferred

By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore–

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over–

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

 Langston’s magical A Dream Deferred was also an inspiration for Loraine Hansberry’s epic play Raisin in the Sun

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