New Scholarship from the JWJ Memorial Collection
Boy of the Border: An unpublished children’s book by Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps
Boy of the Border, a previously unpublished children’s book co-authored by Arna Bontemps and Langston Hughes, was published by Sweet Earth Flying Press in December 2009.
Though the story was published in the July 1956 issue of Jack and Jill magazine in a condensed version called “Broncos over the Border,” the new edition of Boy of the Border is the first complete publication of the text. Editors and publishers Dr. Maceo Dailey and Sōndra Banfield Dailey located manuscripts related to the current volume in in the Langston Hughes Papers (JWJ MSS 26) at the Beinecke Library, including two versions of Boy of the Border in manuscript (the original, written between 1939 and 1941, and Hughes’s 1955 revision — JWJ MSS 26 Box 289, Folder 4718). The Library collections also include unpublished letters between Bontemps and Hughes, discussing aspects of their collaboration.