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'Cultural Entanglements': USU Prof's New Book Connects Black Writers Throughout History

Shane Graham holding his book
Courtesy of Christy Fox

There are a number of book lists circulating social media to give audiences a better view of what it looks like to be Black in the United States. But according to one Utah State University professor, the idea of connecting audiences to Black culture reaches back nearly a century to American poet and author Langston Hughes’ international efforts. 

Shane Graham, an associate professor of English at USU, said from the time Hughes first published “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” in 1921 until his death in 1967, he utilized emerging technology and transportation to create an international community of Black writers. Thus emerged Graham’s new book, “Cultural Entanglements: Langston Hughes and the Rise of African and Caribbean Literature,” where he tracked correspondence between Hughes and other writers across the U.S., Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Read the rest of the story here on


This story is brought to you through a community reporting partnership between The Herald Journal and Utah Public Radio. UPR's Jackie Harris produced the audio version of this story.