Langston Hughes’s Business Suit
This chapter focuses on Langston Hughes's dedicatory poem to Haile Selassie, which expresses the existence of a centralized Ethiopian empire that would actually challenge the viability of an imagined extra-imperial network of black internationalism by the 1960s. The poem expresses not only an awestruck veneration but the familiar bafflement regarding the seeming dissonance between modernity and antiquity, between the modern business suit and the archaic scroll. Imperial events such as the business suit only serve to exaggerate the apparent disjuncture between the modern and the ancient, as Addison E. Southard said of the coronation decades. Representatives gathered from all corners of the country for the occasion results in the spectacle of “modern civilization cheek by jowl with medievalism.” The allegorical significance of the business suit illustrates imperial Ethiopia's impulse to Westernize in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.