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March 29, 2002
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367


California State University, Dominguez Hills,
Presents "An Evening With Langston Hughes"

"Sphere of Influence: A Centennial Celebration of Langston Hughes"

Carson, CA - The music and dialogue of the Harlem Renaissance comes to life as California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), presents a special night of poetry from the legendary Langston Hughes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, in the Carson Community Center, 801 E. Carson Street.

Often called the "Music of the Harlem Renaissance," Hughes' poetry penetrated the souls of many African Americans and told stories of pain, love, misery and hope that served as the textual backdrop of this era in black history.

Dr. Joyce Johnson, CSUDH professor of English, said the Harlem Renaissance was more than a period in time, but a metaphysical state of being for many celebrated African American musicians, artists, writers and intellectuals of their time. "Langston Hughes represents the embodiment of the Harlem Renaissance through poetic verse and prosaic discourse," Johnson said. "Through his deep and penetrating vision, he captured the very essence of artistic communication within the African American mindset of his time."

Johnson noted that the Harlem Renaissance served as a springboard for larger discussion of the period, its impact on future generations and the ways in which it can be incorporated into the humanities, arts, ethnic studies and global studies curriculum at Cal State Dominguez Hills. "We hope to emerge from this symposia with an academic basis, which could be molded into future curriculum for our students," Johnson noted.

Symposia Schedule: Sphere of Influence: A Centennial Celebration of Langston Hughes

Friday April 4, 2002
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
An Evening with Langston Hughes
Moderators: Dr. R. Baxter Miller, director, Institute for African American Studies, and professor of English,
University of Georgia, and Dr. Joyce Johnson, professor of English, CSUDH
Readings of Hughes' poetry by S. Pearl Sharp and music by Talya Ferro and the CSUDH Jubilee Choir.
Funded by the California Council for the Humanities
Location: Carson Community Center at Avalon and Carson

Friday, April 5, 2002
Location: Loker University Student Union, CSUDH

Coffee and Introductions
9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Seminar One: "Langston Hughes: Harlem's Poet Laureate"
9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Dr. R. Baxter Miller, director, Institute for African American Studies, and professor of English,
University of Georgia;
Executive Editor, Langston Hughes Review

11:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Seminar Two: "Cultural Memory, Cultural Transformation: Music and Cultural Identity the Harlem
Renaissance Thought
Dr. Paul Anderson, assistant professor, American Culture & African American Studies,
University of Michigan,
11:15 - 12:45 p.m.

12:45 - 2:00 p.m.

Seminar Three: "Dance of the Harlem Renaissance: Embodying Identity," by
Anthea C. Kraut, Fellow, W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard University
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 6, 2002
9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Wrap-up Session: How to Integrate New Knowledge Into Curriculum
10:00 - Noon

S. Pearl Sharp, the award-winning filmmaker, actress, poet and author of "Black Women for Beginners," will provide a special reading of selected poems by Langston Hughes. Sharp is renowned for many films, including "Picking Tribes" and "Black Inside Herself."

This special symposia is free to the CSUDH campus community. A registration fee of $35 is required for non-university participants. All events will be held in the Loker University Student Union except for Thursday, April 4, at the Carson Community Center.

California State University, Dominguez Hills takes pride in offering a 'World of Opportunity' to everyone who desires a quality higher education. Please visit the university website at for complete information on campus curriculum and activities.

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For additional information, contact Joyce Johnson at (310) 243-3050.