The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, 45th Human Rights Award dinner keynote talk by Dr. MaryLouise Patterson on the correspondence between playwrite, poet, author and racial justice activist Langston Hughes and her parents which she co-edited with Evelyn Louise Crawford whose parents were also part of the close circle of friends.
Dr. Patterson earned her medical degree at Patrice Lumumba Friendship University in Moscow and a Masters of Public Health at the University of California – Berkley. She works to get medical care in under served schools, and she is part of many civil rights, social justice, and peace movements.
Her parents close friendship with Langston Hughes is chronicled through the letters in the book which she co-edited with her childhood friend Evelyn Louise Crawford. They under took the project to make the correspondence available after discovering that, not only were letters from Langston Hughes to their parents among their parents things, but that the Hughes archive, housed at the Beinecke Library, Yale University, also contained their parents correspondence with him. Letters about their daily lives, his cultural work and the struggle to live without fear in racist times she can link directly to the repression and politics of today.
She speaks to the relevance of past thoughts, shared among friends, on race, culture and politics and to their on going relevance to the struggle for racial justice today.