A Note From The Director

February 1st is not only Langston Hughes’ birthday and the first day of Black History Month, but it is also the 45th Anniversary of our Festival. So, it is an honor to invite you to join us for the 45th Annual Langston Hughes Festival at The City College of New York (CCNY), Thursday, February 1st at Aaron Davis Hall where we will bestow the 2024 Langston Hughes Festival Medal upon two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner Colson Whitehead.


In addition, we are celebrating the reestablishment of Black Studies as a Department at CCNY and we are honoring the 55th Anniversary of The Takeover on our campus. So, it is incredibly fitting that we have Colson Whitehead as our Medal Winner as his writing has honored and celebrated Harlem and its people. In addition, as the new Director of Black Studies and a Harlem Renaissance scholar from Memphis, I wanted to celebrate the Great Migration and the South – all things that helped in the creation of this special place, Harlem.

We hope that you will start the day with us at 12:30pm for The Symposium, which will be a Panel on the significance of The Paper, the Black student newspaper at CCNY, which featured a quote from the Langston Hughes poem, Harlem, in the masthead. The panelists will include original members of The Paper staff, who were also student activists and members of The Takeover as shown in The Five Demands Film. Mr. Albert De Leon, the 2nd Editor of The Paper, Mr. Greg Holder, former Managing Editor of The Paper, and Mr. Charles Powell, one of the original 10 students from The Takeover will be on the Panel. There will be a screening of The Five Demands Film following the Symposium.

The Ceremony starts at 6pm, and it will include a reading from Colson Whitehead and he will be in dialogue with CCNY’s own Emily Raboteau. Music will be provided by the Memphis Ambassador of Music Ariel Reign. Collectively, we hope that the day will honor the history and space of Harlem, Langston Hughes, CCNY, Black Studies, and Colson Whitehead. There will be several opportunities for Q & A during the events.

We hope to see you, Thursday, February 1st for the Symposium, Film Screening, and the Ceremony! 

-- Jervette R. Ward, Ph.D. 

Festival Program

Last Updated: 02/16/2024 16:00