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-Press Release, Granville County Government
Dr. W. Jason Miller will be a special guest of the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, as local author discussions continue. The 2 p.m. presentation will provide insight into Miller’s latest novel, a biography of Langston Hughes.
In his most recent work, Miller will discuss how Hughes – the first black author in America to make a living exclusively by writing – inspired an entire generation of writers and activists. Complete with photographs, Miller’s book is one of a series of works that put a renewed focus on the life of this internationally-acclaimed poet. Using unpublished letters and manuscripts, the author will shed more light on how Hughes’ work contributed to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Miller’s previous book, “Origins of the Dream: Hughes’ Poetry and the King’s Rhetoric,” describes how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used portions of Hughes’ poetry in his sermons and speeches from 1956 through 1968. The “King’s First Dream” project, a documentary made in partnership with the Southern Documentary Fund, includes the first-ever recording of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which had its roots in Rocky Mount, NC – a full eight months before the famous speech at the March on Washington in 1963.
Other works by Dr. Miller include the book “Langston Hughes and the Lynching Culture,” as well as online projects and magazine articles. A published poet himself, Miller has been featured in several poetry anthologies and collections.
Dr. Miller is a professor of literature at North Carolina State University. His many accomplishments and distinctions include service on the board of N.C. State’s African-American Cultural Center, where he now serves as the inaugural Scholar-In-Residence (2019-2020). A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney and of Washington State University, his extensive work on the “King’s First Dream” project, which received coverage worldwide, led to an honorary citizenship bestowed by the City of Rocky Mount in 2017.
This program on Langston Hughes is part of a series of local author discussions scheduled for the Granville County Library System and is part of the library’s ongoing celebration of Black History Month. The program is free and open to the public.
For more information on this and other programs offered by the Granville County Library System, visit https://granville.lib.nc.us/ or call 919-693-1121.