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Celebrating Visionary Black Writers: CCNY’s Langston Hughes Festival Marks Its 42nd Anniversary With Conversations More Urgent Than Ever

Every year, The City College of New York holds its Langston Hughes Festival and awards its Langston Hughes Medal to a highly distinguished writer of the African diaspora. With a mission to celebrate and expand upon the legacy of Harlem Renaissance icon and “poet laureate of Harlem” Langston Hughes, the Festival awarded its first medal, in 1978, to James Baldwin, followed by an honor roll of the greatest Black writers of our time — among them Toni Morrison, Chinua Achebe, and Rita Dove. This November, as the nation engages with the impact of 2020’s presidential election and months of protest for racial justice since George Floyd’s killing, the CCNY Black Studies Program awards the Langston Hughes Medal to author-as-activist Michael Eric Dyson, a major voice in the current conversation about race in America.

Host: CCNY President Vincent Boudreau
Guests: Vanessa K. Valdés, Professor and Director of the CCNY Black Studies Program; Michael Eric Dyson Ph.D., author, academic, commentator, and 2020 Langston Hughes Medalist.
Recorded: November 10, 2020