This essay contextualizes several of Langston Hughes’s mid-1930s short fiction works, exploring ways in which these Black Marxist writings expose racism as a function of an absolutist US nationalist discourse. The essay argues that the short story “Cora Unashamed” is a crucial document of interwar period African American internationalist literature, as it imparts a black modernist fable that rearticulates the realist folklore of the 1930s Left. The article then considers several stories that carry on the radical socialist theme, including “The Blues I’m Playing,” “Little Old Spy,” “Why, You Reckon?”, “On the Road,” “Professor,” “Gumption,” and “The Trouble with Angels.”


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