In 1931 nine young black males, one of whom was only fourteen years old,were convicted of raping two white females in a freight train passingthrough Alabama. Eight of them were sentenced to death. At the trial inScottsboro, Alabama, the black youths declared their innocence. The casegenerated much national and international attention. Several years later,after numerous legal battles, the courts reversed the convictions againstthe men. Scottsboro Limited includes four poems protesting the treatmentof the group widely known as the "Scottsboro Boys," and a play in verse byLangston Hughes, with illustrations by Prentiss Taylor, a white artist.
( Jackson )
Langston Hughes, a member of an abolitionist family and grandson of the first
African-American to be elected to public office, was born in Joplin, Missouri.
( Deisman )Langston Hughes could do it all.
Langston Hughes was one of theforemost and versatile writers of this talented group. Although Hugheswas quite critical of Booker T. Washington's accommodationist philosophy,this poem also evinces his understanding of the circumstances under whichWashington labored.