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Langston Hughes Library at the Alex Haley Farm

The Langston Hughes Library in Clinton, Tennessee, just outside of Knoxville, is the ultimate place to find and read the books of African American writers and information tools to learn more about them. It is not a public library and the books can not be checked out, but it is a standout for discovering a rich tradition of excellent writing. (Clinton has a population of approximately 10,000 residents.)

The Library is part of the CDF Alex Haley Farm (Alex Haley [1921-1992], author of Roots, once owned the farmland). Read about Alex Haley at britannica.com and about a controversy at Margaret Walker Alexander. Roots is also known as a record-setting television mini-series that first aired in the 1970s and featured several major actors and actresses of the day.

Check the Langston Hughes Library website at https://www.childrensdefense.org/activism/haley-farm/explore-cdf-alex-haley-farm for upcoming events and programs, and see if you can figure out what it has in common with a monument in Washington, D.C., a presidential inauguration, and a Civil Rights activist.

According to its website: “Dedicated in 1999 in honor of one of America’s most important and prolific writers, the library is used by children’s advocates, spiritual leaders, educators, civil rights leaders, authors, illustrators, publishers, scholars, teachers, librarians and students who come to Haley Farm for training, leadership development, reflection and inspiration. The reading room is named after acclaimed poet and novelist Dr. Maya Angelou and renowned historian Dr. John Hope Franklin. A sitting area is dedicated to civil rights heroine Rosa Parks.”

About Langston Hughes

Check out our Kansas page, our New York page, and our Ohio page to find out more about the writer Langston Hughes (1902-1967).

The Langston Hughes Library is the sixth stop on our Tennessee Author Adventures Trail!

Patricia Smart