Signed Copy of Langston Hughes's "Freedom's Plow": ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL./ NO MAN IS GOOD ENOUGH/ TO GOVERN ANOTHER MAN/ WITHOUT HIS CONSENT.
Book SignedHUGHES, Langston. Freedom's Plow. Signed "Langston Hughes" in large, beautiful script by Hughes on the front cover. New York: Musette Publishers, Jan. 1946. First edition, third printing. Original paper wrappers. Single staple in middle of binding. Approximately 5" x 8.5" inches, 14 pages. In 1943, with America at war, the African-American poet Langston Hughes penned his stirring "Freedom's Plow." Immediately after it was written, the long poem was broadcast by radio throughout the nation on the old RCA Blue Network. Hughes quotes the words of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. The poem gets its title from an old slave saying, "Keep your hand on the plow. Hold on"-- both of Hughes' paternal great-grandmothers were enslaved-- which here becomes a metaphor for perseverance in the struggle for true freedom: "America!/ Land created in common,/ Dream nourished in common,/ Keep your hand on the plow! Hold on!/ If the house is not yet finished,/ Don’t be discouraged, builder!/ If the fight is not yet won,/ Don’t be weary, soldier!/ The plan and the pattern is here,/ Woven from the beginning/ Into the warp and woof of America:/ ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL./ NO MAN IS GOOD ENOUGH/ TO GOVERN ANOTHER MAN/ WITHOUT HIS CONSENT./ BETTER DIE FREE,/ THAN TO LIVE SLAVES./ Who said those things? Americans!" Barely visible 0.5 millimeter tear to fore-edge, not affecting text. Pages clean. Toning to top edge of wrappers. Indentation and slight rust on original wrapper where there used to be a metal clip. Overall a lovely copy in very good condition, beautifully signed in ink by Hughes. Scarce-- No other signed copies have ever gone to auction.
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