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Brother to Brother: The Friendship and Literary Correspondence of Manuel Zapata Olivella and Langston Hughes^

LAURENCE E. PRESCOTT
T H E PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying through time and opportunity, in form and gft and feature, hut differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and the possibility of infinite development. W E. B. Du Bois, Darkwater The absence ofrrwdeb, in literature as in life ... is an occupational hazard for the artist, simply because modeb in art, in behavior, in growth of spirit and intellect even if rejectedenrich and enlarge one's view of existence. Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens For Chris and Peter, and David and Stephen, fraternally

n November 26, 2004, seven days after his demise in Bogota at the age of eighty-four years, family and friends of writer Manuel Zapata Olivella gathered at the shore of the Sinu River in Lorica, his birthplace, to bid him a final farewell. In accordance with Zapata Olivella's last wishes, novelist and fellow "loriquefio" David Sanchez Juliao spread his cremated ashes upon the waters of the river so that his earthly remains would flow to the Caribbean Sea, and then to the Atlantic Ocean, and eventually back to the shores of his African ancestors (Durango). The ceremony, prefiguring a return to the source, was especially fitting for Zapata Olivella who in novels, short stories, travelogues, essays, and other writings explored, examined, and revealed the richness and vitality of Afiica's myriad contributionspsychological, economic, musical, political, etc.to the history and cultures of the Americas, and narrated the struggles of African peoples for freedom and dignity. For critic Richard Jackson, one of the leading scholars of Afro-Hispanic literature, Zapata Olivella was "perhaps the most outstanding black novelist writing in Spanish" at the end of the twentieth century (90). Interestingly, Zapata Olivella's final send-ofi^ recalls and even coincides somewhat with that of African American poet and writer Langston Hughes, whose death had occurred some thirty-seven years earlier in New York City, far from his birthplace in Joplin, Missouri. In fulfillment of his wishes, Hughes's body was also cremated and, according to a docent at the Schomburg Center, some of his ashes were scattered on rivers of several continents while the rest were interred beneath the beautifully designed and artistically Afro-Hispanic Review Volume 25, Number 1 Spring 2006 ~ 87

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crafted/rendered timeline of his life and travels, located on the main floor of the center. This coincidence, perhaps, should not be too surprising, for Zapata Olivella and Hughes also shared a long yet little known friendship that ended only with the latter's passing.^ In an article titled "Male Versus Female Friendship in Don Quijote," Debra D. Andrist establishes the importance of male relationships in literature, which she considers the cornerstone of the literary society's dynamics. According to Andrist, the portrayal of male characters as friends and the actual relationships between male writers have been central to canon formation. Although female relationships by comparison have been much less significant, she asserts that they "may not only offer insight on their own merits but may illuminate male relationships as well" (Andrist 149). Sandra M. Cilbert and Susan Gubar, authors of The Madivoman in the Attic:
The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, have also ques-

tioned male-oriented thinking and literary tradition. They respond to critic Harold Bloom's postulations "that the dynamics of literary history arise from the artist's 'anxiety of infiuence,' his fear that he is not his own creator and that the works of his predecessors, existing before and beyond him, assume essential priority over his own writings,"^ and explain that in defining herself as an author, the female writer engages in a process of revision by which she must redefine the terms of her socialization. They also cite "what Adrienne Rich has called 'Revisionthe act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction ... an act of survival,'" and add that the woman writer's struggle often begins only as she actively seeks "a female precursor who, far from representing a threatening force to be denied or killed, proves by example that a revolt against patriarchal literary authority is possible" (Gilbert and Gubar 49). Although these three scholars focus on the lack of female precursors and the non-representation of female friends in literature, their comments and insights also have relevance and application to friendships of other writers who do not belong to the traditional paradigm of white male authority. This is especially true for black writers such as Zapata Olivella and Hughes who, like women writers, have also not been models of friendships in literatureeither in fictional texts or real lifeand have also had to struggle against assumptions of inferiority and lack of ability. This essay proposes to illuminate the relationship and written correspondence of these two important authors of African descent who, despite differences of age, nationality, and mother tongue, formed and maintained a lasting friendship based on mutual respect and the recognition that they shared common literary interests, political views, and a mixed-race heritage of struggle against slavery and oppression.

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In the United States of America of the 1920s, the flourishing of literature, art and music that became known as the Harlem Renaissance, and especially the voice of its leading poet, Langston Hughes, represented a new awareness and affirmation of black identity and culture in the Americas. As a radical challenge to and departure from traditional white authority and representation, the literary and artistic outpouring of Hughes, Claude McKay, Countee CuUen, W E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and other African American writers, artists, and intellectuals of the period,'' resonated with poets and writers throughout the Americas and elsewhere. Illustrative of that appeal is the friendship of Hughes and Cuban poet Nicolas Guillen (1902-1987), which began with a trip Hughes made to Cuba in February of 1930 and lasted until his death in 1967. During that visit, as critic Jose Antonio Fernandez de Castro wrote shortly afterwards, Hughes "fue recibido y festejado por los elementos representativos de nuestra joven intelectualidad, y por distinguidas personalidades y entidades cubanas de la raza negra" (Mullen 170.) Hughes himself briefly mentions his friendship with the Cuban poet in his second autobiography, 1 Wonder asi Wander (8). Arnold Rampersad, who has written the defrnitive biography of the African American poet and writer, and other scholars' have amply documented Cuillen's relationship with Hughes. Rampersad makes no mention, however, of Manuel Zapata Olivella, with whom Hughes maintained a friendship for more than twenty years. Unlike Guillen, who was bom in the same year as Hughes and had traveled with him from Paris to Barcelona and around Spain as newspaper correspondents on the Spanish Civil War, Zapata Olivella, who was considerably younger than his African American confrere, spent relatively little time in Hughes's company. Moreover, the widely traveled Hughes never visited Colombia or any other South America nation. Nevertheless, as this essay will show, their meeting and the friendship that ensued had lasting importance and mutual benefrt to both of them. While Hughes helped Zapata Olivella to sharpen his literary skills and to understand U.S. black life and culture better, Zapata Olivella enhanced and broadened Hughes's appreciation of the black experience in Spanish America. The U.S. poet's correspondence to Zapata Olivella and the latter's incorporation of Hughes's persona and texts into his own published writings corroborate the two writers' friendship, mutual respect, and identification. Consisting of autographed dedications on five of Hughes's books and a Christmas card accompanied by a typed letter, the correspondence is numerically smaller than that written by Hughes to Nicolas Guillen, which has come to light.* Nevertheless, it is not without signifrcance. Bom in 1920 in Lorica and raised in Cartagena de Indias, the historic port city that had served as an entrepot for captive Africans destined for slavery in the

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Americas, Zapata Olivella met Hughes in 1946, the year after the end of World War II and about three years after he had abandoned medical school and his homeland to discover the world beyond Colombia: "yo no queria ser medico ... queria ser vagabundo, " he would write later in his 1949 book, Pasion vagabunda: "Ya habia probado el veneno del vagabundaje y todo mi cuerpo anoraba los caminos que aun no se insinuaban en el horizonte" (69). After trekking through Central America during the early months of 1944 and illegally entering Mexico in April of that year, he survived in that post-revolutionary society by using both his wits and his knowledge of medicine. Eventually, as he narrates in the final chapters of Pasion vagabunda, he obtained employment as a journalist with various Mexican periodicals, one of which contracted him to write a series of articles on the conditions of migrant farm laborers in the United States. During the summer of 1946 he crossed the border into the United States where he encountered racism, hunger, homelessness, and unemployment, but also comradeship and support, especially among African American veterans seeking to reestablish themselves within their segregated homeland, and among Latin American immigrants eager to find work in "the land of the dollar."^ Although the U. S. and its Allies had defeated the Axis forces of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and imperial Japan, the nation, previously weakened by the Great Depression, had not recovered its full economic strength. Neither had it begun to effectively confront its history of racial injustice and discrimination, to end the longstanding and legalized practice of racial separation, or to address the crime of lynching. Making his way to New York City with the help of friends but lacking a steady means of support, Zapata Olivella faced a constant struggle for food and shelter. Familiar with Hughes's autobiography The Big Sea and a few of his poems, and anxious to resume his own writing, Zapata Olivella sought out the Harlem Renaissance's most celebrated poet, who as a youth had also taken to the road to see the world.* Under the aptly titled section "Resurreccion" of He visto la rwche (1953), the book that narrates his experiences in the United States and is the second of his three travel narratives,' Zapata Olivella describes his initial encounter with the writer:
a sus puertas esperanzado en que me ayudara a vender algiin articulo en los peri6dicos negros, aun cuando no habia visto ninguno editado en Nueva York. Detris de esta ayuda que pensaba solicitarle, se escondia la profunda admiracion que como hombre y poeta me habian despertado los relatos de su vida y los pocos poemas que le conocia.'" En el poeta encontr6 mucho mSs de lo que abdgara mi alma abatida: un amigo. (1953: 88; 1969: 126; 2000: 351)"

According to Zapata Olivella, who informed Hughes about his own background and the vagabond passion that had impelled his own travels, so natural and lively was their conversation that it seemed as if Hughes had met him before "en alguno de los puertos de Africa o Europa que recorriera en otras epocas" (88). 90 ~ AHR

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Evidently, Zapata Olivella's recounting of the wanderlust that had brought him to Hughes' door seemed to have reawakened in his host "escondidos recuerdos". More important, Zapata Olivella made Hughes aware of "voces nuevas de los caminos de Sur America, de la que solo habfa oido hablar durante su permanencia en Mexico" (88). One of the voices that Zapata Olivella brought to Hughes's attention was that of his compatriot Jorge Artel (1909-94), Colombia's leading black poet, who had published his first book of poetry, Tambores en la noche (1940), only a few years earlier. Although Hughes had no knowledge of Artel, the latter had been familiar with Hughes's verse since at least the 1930s and considered him one of several African American writers whose works reflected "the true image of the race and its unmistakable voice" (qtd. in Prescott 73). Significantly, Artel had also been one of Zapata Olivella's secondary school teachers in Cartagena, and may well have been instrumental in familiarizing his student with Hughes's writings and literary stature." Conversely, Hughes, besides providing his grateful guest with much needed sustenance and respite from his daily privations, also introduced him into black literary, artistic, and intellectual circles, which in turn helped the young South American mulatto traveler to discern the powerful intellectual force that propelled the Afiican American struggle for liberation. As Zapata Olivella acknowledged, those experiences would have a profound and long-lasting impact on his literary development and racial consciousness: "Yo sentia que aquellas influencias gravitaban sobre mi espiritu violentamente, encauzando mis ideas dispersas hacia nuevos rumbos" (He visto 89). Although Hughes was both older and a well established writer, the warm welcome and unselfish assistance he gave the young aspiring Colombian writer was conducive not so much to the development of "a filial relationship"that is, of father to son, as Bloom positsbut rather of a fraternal relationship, characteristic of many African-descended peoples in the Americas, who recognize in each other not merely a kindred spirit but a common ancestral experience, a heritage of suffering and struggle that inextricably bound them together. Indeed, for Zapata Olivella and others, Hughes^by Latin American standards a mulatto, like Zapata Olivella and Guillen'^embodied, through his privileging of blackness and black culture, his outspoken eloquence against Jim Crow and racism, and his openness to other languages, cultures and peoples, the model of a successful and committed black writer worthy of emulation, not competition."* In an interview with Yvonne Captain-Hidalgo, author of the first book in English devoted to his work, Zapata Olivella confirmed the strong fraternal sentiment that Hughes's most famous composition, "I, Too," had inspired in him: "Tal vez el [poema] que mas me influyo en el sentido de entusiasmarme, en hacerme sentir

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hermano de el fue 'Yo tambien soy America'." (26)." Revisiting in his autobiography iLevdntate mulato! (1987) the feelings engendered by his first meeting with Hughes, Zapata Olivella again underscored the fraternal quality of that encounter: "Aun cuando solo conocia algo de su obra, me acogio con los sentimientos de un viejo hermano" (278-79).'^ Both the known correspondence from Hughes to Zapata Olivella and the latter's inclusion of Hughes in several publications substantiate the development of the two writers'friendship.As stated above, the correspondence consists of Hughes's signature and accompanying greeting on five of his published books." The earliest of these is inscribed on a copy of The Ways of White Folks, Hughes's first collection of short stories, published in 1934. It reads as follows: "For Manuel Zapata, with all good wishes for a happy stay in the U. S. A., Sincerely, Langston Hughes. New York, September 2, 1946." Besides exemplifying Hughes's generosity, this first message is especially important because it offers evidence of Zapata Olivella's presence in the United States and indicates an exact day, month, and year when the two writers may have met or most likely were together. The dedication also reveals that the young traveler was in the early stages of his visit to the United States. In contrast, it is noteworthy that in He visto la noche Zapata Olivella rarely offered precise information about the day, month or year of his particular experiences. It is as if he wanted to avoid in a literal sense "dating" his work, which, undoubtedly, he envisioned not as a detailed, everyday record of his movements but as a lively narrative of his particular rovings, encounters, and discoveries. Zapata Olivella's stay in the United States lasted about a year. Returning to Colombia in mid-1947, as the dates of various articles written by and about him suggest," he resumed his medical studies at the National University while also continuing his literary aspirations. Hughes, in fact, is the subject of one of the articles he wrote upon his return. Titled simply "Langston Hughes, el hombre," it presents a more detailed account of his interactions with Hughes than the brief episode he would narrate in He visto la noche years later." Through this intimate portrait of Hughes the writer and the man, Zapata Olivella not only expressed publicly his gratitude to the poet who had provided him sustenance and guidance at a critical time in his life, but also helped to broaden Hughes's name and literary reputation throughout Colombia and possibly to other areas of the Spanish-speaking world. Towards the end of 1947 Zapata Olivella published his first book, the novel Tierra rrwjada, which carried a prologue by Peruvian indigenista novelist Ciro Alegria, whom Zapata Olivella had also met in New York City and considered a mentor (He visto la noche 89-90; iLevdntate mulato! 276) .^ Equally important (for the

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purposes of this essay), about this time Hughes setit him a copy of EI inmenso mar, the Spanish version of The Big Sea, which had been published in Buenos Aires three years earlier. The dedication that Hughes wrote tberein constitutes the second known piece of correspondence to Zapata Olivella.^' Inscribed more than a year after Hughes bad signed and presented him tbe sbort story collection, tbe words read: "For my friend and fellow vagabon [sic], Manuel Zapata, witb all good wisbes Sincerely, Langston Hugbes. New York, Nov. 22, 1947." Like tbe first inscription, tbis one also closes witb tbe common expression of sincerity. It differs sligbtly, bowever, in tone and in degree of intimacy. Wbile tbe words written on tbe story collection seem more formal, expressing witb cordiality tbe kind of greeting given to a person one bas just met and does not know well, tbose on tbe autobiograpby and specifically tbe word "friend"confirm tbe existence of a deeper relationsbip and reaffirm an awareness of a common experience and identityvagabondage tbat binds tbe two men and reinforces tbeir firiendsbip. Zapata Olivella, of course, was not tbe first Soutb American to travel tbe United States and to sbow interest in tbe social and economic conditions and tbe racial inequities tbat cbaracterized tbe lives of Afiican American citizens in tbe age of segregation. However, as a self-identified Spanisb American man of color wbo embraced bis Afiican and indigenous beritages witbout sbame or fear, and wbo took to tbe road witbout tbe relative comforts and security tbat invited visitors from tbe soutbem republics usually enjoyed, Zapata Olivella no doubt stood out from most of tbose wbom Hugbes bad met. Furtbermore, and again unlike many otber Hispanic travelers of tbat period, be not only bad witnessed discrimination and tbe injustice of soutbem Jim Crow laws and customs tbat cbaracterized mucb of 1940s U. S. America, but also bad lived it bimselffrom tbe black side of tbe color line. As a consequence, be was able to offer bis readers a unique, insider's view of marginalized populations witbin U. S. society at a crucial moment in its bistory. His firm fiiendsbip witb Hugbes, bis familiarity witb Harlem by day and nigbt, and bis firstband knowledge of (U. S.) African American life and culture experienced "from witbin tbe veil,"" accorded bim a certain cacbet to speak and write witb autbority about U. S. race relations, social problems, and prominent black figures, wbicb was uncommon for most Spanisb American travelers. Tbus, in a brief article of 1948 titled "Agenda politica de un campeon," be refutes a journalist's opinion about beavyweigbt boxing cbampion Joe Louis's pbysical condition and unsuitability for political activity, pointing out tbat Louis bad long been active in tbe political struggle on bebalf of Afiican Americans. He concludes tbe note by citing Hugbes, singer and actor Paul Robeson, and writer Ricbard Wrigbt as otber prominent Afiican Americans involved in "la politica de los negros esta-

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dounidenses," who "lo sacrifican todo y no por cierto en pos de una curul" (5). As Zapata Olivella told professor Captain-Hidalgo in the interviews she conducted with him, he and Hughes kept in touch largely by sending each other the hooks they published. Although both produced several works between 1950 and 1960, no evidence of correspondence or exchange of works is available for this period." Equally momentous events in their lives may have prevented them from maintaining easy, regular communication. Owing to his radical writings and activities of earlier years, Hughes fell victim in the 1950s to the hysteria of the Cold War intensified by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. He was summoned to appear in March of 1953 before the Senate Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations, chaired by Sen. McCarthy, and aimed at rooting out suspected Communists spies and Communist sympathizers. Although Hughes managed to acquit himself sufficiently and continued to write, the whole experience, according to Arnold Rampersad, left him "vigilant about any connection between his name and the Left" (2: 221), and may even have compelled him to be more circumspect about his correspondence.^'' Zapata Olivella's participation in Colombia's Communist Youth organization i'lLevdntate mulato! 286)which might have prevented him later from obtaining a visa to travel to the United Statescertainly could have compromised further Hughes' unsettled situation or made it difficult for the poet to be linked with his Colombian comrade. Similarly, in the wake of the fratricidal political violence that shook Colombia after the assassination of Liberal leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan in April of 1948, Zapata Olivella's political affrliations and activities presented no little danger to his own life (287). Although he completed his medical degree in 1949 about the same time that his second book, Pasion vagabunda, appeared," he found it advisable to leave the capital and establish residence in the small town of La Paz, Valledupar, situated near the border with Venezuela, where he practiced medicine among the rural peasantry. The Marxist-oriented social and political consciousness evident in his doctoral thesis also seems to have motivated the move, as the following excerpt from one of his early 1950 newspaper writings reveals:
tengo la predileccion de curar a los menos aptos para pagarme una consulta. Por este motivo estoy ejerciendo la medicina en un medio rural y no en un centro "digno de mi inteligencia," como suelen algunas voces amigas aconsejarme. Para mi la medicina no es un problema cientiflco, economico o de talento, sino simple y Uanamente politico: debo servir a los pobres y no a los ricos. ("Cartas de un medico rural" 4)

Before reaching La Paz, however, it appears that he did manage to sendor have sentto Hughes a copy of Pasion vagabunda, which contains two brief handwritten inscriptions (in green ink), one of which bears testimony to the insecure political climate existing then in Colombia. The frrst appears on the book's title page

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and reads: "Es el primer volumen que se vende en Barranca en las af[ueras]. de Z. Libertadora Barranca l-X-49 Bolivar". The second notation is found at the end of the "Carta a manera de introito" (14), which opens the book and begins with the salutation "Recordado hermano", probably addressing the author's younger sibling Juan, who would also study medicine. It reads: "En estado de sitio y paro civico, en direccion a la voragine...? Barranca 26-XI'49". Using the word "voragine," which evokes the celebrated novel La vordgine (1924) by fellow Colombian Jose Eustacio Rivera (1880-1929), the author alludes to the uncertainty and violence that his nation was experiencing.^' Unlike Hughes, who remained a bachelor throughout his life, Zapata Olivella settled down and had childrentwo daughtersduring the years he lived and worked in Valledupar. Especially in those difficult times, no doubt, he must have remembered his friend, the circumstances of their meeting, and the experiences in New York that originated from it. Evidence of this memory is the fact that he gave to his elder daughter the name of the community where Hughes lived, which also symbolized the vibrancy and resilience of African American culture: Harlem." Significantly, too, he placed as the epigraph to his book He visto la noche, which appeared in 1953, the following lines taken from Hughes's first published poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," a Spanish version of which Zapata Olivella evidently knew:
He contemplado rios, viejos, oscuros, con la edad del mundo, y con ellos, tan viejos y sombrios el coraz6n se me volvi6 profundo.^'

Assuming that Zapata Olivella was aware of the political witch-hunt that had ensnared Hughes in those years, his inclusion of those poetic lines could certainly be interpreted not only as a recollection of the poet, but also as an expression of solidarity and support to his friend. Colombia's political problems notwithstanding, Zapata Olivella obviously did not forget or lose sight of the world beyond his homeland, as China, 6 a.m. (1955)," his third book of travel narratives, and Hotel de vagabundos (1955), his first dramatic work and winner of the 1954 Premio Espiral for theater, show. Based on his experiences among other unemployed, down-and-out immigrants, veterans and transients rooming at the Mills Hotel in New York,' the play, which he began writing shortly after his return from the United States, reflects an abiding faith in revolutionary struggle. Nevertheless, manyif not mostof Zapata Olivella's journalistic and literary writings that appeared between 1954 and 1961including his second novel. La Calk 10 (1960), and his first collection of short stories, Cuentos de muerte y liber-

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tad (1961)focused largely on national themes (violence, folklore, indigenous life) that reflected his experiences in and his observations of both rural and urban social landscapes. During the decade of the 1960s, which would encompass the final years of Hughes's life, Zapata Olivella received from his friend three more books, which included familiar handwritten inscriptions in customary green ink. The first of these is the collection titled Something in Common and Other Stories, which was published in 1961 when Zapata Olivella's own stories also appeared. Two important changes distinguish the dedication of this book from those of the two earlier ones. Writing fourteen years later, Hughes addresses Zapata Olivella by his first name only. Concomitantly, he signs the book with just his given name. These two minor but significant modifications simultaneously reveal and reinforce the greater familiarity and intimacy that undoubtedly had come to define the unique friendship of these two Afio-American writers. The dedication reads: "For Manuelwith sincere regards fromLangston[.] Harlem, U. S. A., May, 1961." It is also interesting to note that Hughes no longer indicated, broadly, the city of New York as the place from which he was writing. Rather, he chose to denote the predominantly black neighborhood or community of Harlem as the specific location from which he wrote, in which he lived, and which, of course, held fond memories for Zapata Olivella. Two years later (1963) Hughes sent to Zapata Olivella his latest book, plainly titled Five Plays, published that same year." Here he maintained the simplicity and intimacy that marked the previous dedication by addressing his correspondent again only by first name and signing the book in a similar manner. On the other hand, Hughes returned to indicating New York City as the site from which he wrote. The words of the dedication are as follow: "Especially for Manuelmy plays. Sincerely, Langston New York, May 1, 1963." In addition, it is noteworthy that Hughes added personal emphasis to the signature by using the intensifying adverb "Especially." Also, unlike the previous dedication, which included only the month and year of the signing, Hughes in this instance wrote the complete date, including day, month and year. Although Pasidn vagabunda is the only one of Zapata Olivella's books known to have reached Hughes, another of his undertakings that linked the two vmters also formed part of Hughes's possessions that passed to the Schomburg Collection upon his death. The inaugural issue (numbered "0") of Zapata Olivella's literary journal Letras Nacionaks, begun in 1965, included Hughes as the lone U. S. member on the list of "Colaboradores," thus refiecting and strengthening the bonds that continued to connect the two writers. The fifthand apparently the lastbook of his that Hughes forwarded to

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Zapata Olivella is the paperback edition of his second autobiography, I Wonder as I Wander (1964), which was originally published in t956. The first three words of the dedication ("Especially for Manuel") echo those that Hughes wrote on the volume of plays. Immediately following this phrase and placed between dashes are four more words, not used in any of the previous inscriptions, that contain the strongest expression of sentiment by Hughes to his Afro-Colombian literary colleague and racial confrere: "with all my affection." As in the dedications of 1961 and 1963, Hughes also signs this one with his given name only. Once again, he records the city of New York as his location and also specifies the exact date of his signature. The final words of the dedication, however, depart from the usual, briefperhaps even formulaicbut no less sincere manner in which Hughes dedicated his books. Written after the place and date are five additional words that constitute an invitation or appeal to Zapata Olivella to visit Hughes again. They also serve as another emotional reminder to Zapata Olivella of the exact place where he and Hughes first met and their long friendship began: Harlem. Here is the text of the dedication: "Especially for Manuelwith all my affectionSincerely, Langston New York, March 9, 1964 Oye, come back to Harlem!" The use of the familiar Spanish verbal imperative "Oye"meaning "Listen" or "Hey"which Zapata Olivella would, of course, understand and appreciate, demonstrates Hughes's familiarity and ease with common expressions of the language. More important, it adds a playful yet more personal and sensitive touch to the sincerity of the dedication. On May 22, 1967, Langston Hughes died in a New York hospital from complications following surgery (Rampersad 423). About a year laterand more than two decades after he had departed the United States to go back home to ColombiaZapata Olivella finally was able to return to the country of Hughes's birth but not in time to see his friend." Following his appointment as first Visiting Professor of the Latin American Chair in the Latin American Studies Program at the University of Toronto (1968-69), he was a writer-in-residence during the academic year 1970-1971 at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas,^^ where Hughes had spent much of his childhood (The Big Sea 13-25). Nevertheless, as his novel Chango, el gran putas (1983), his essay ISluestra voz (1987), and his autobiography ILevdntate mulato! (1990) reveal, throughout much of the rest of his life Zapata Olivella continued to remember and evoke the name of his friend and literary mentor. Eor example, in Chango (395-96) Zapata Olivella introduces Hughes as a character, recalls incidents from The Big Sea, and reproduces the same verses of "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" that serve as epigraph to He visto la noche. Elsewhere (404) he has Hughes recite lines from his poem "Negro." In the essay Zapata Olivella cites

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Hughes's first book of poetry The Weary Blues (1926) among the long list of writings by U. S. authors that evince the black infiuence on popular speech and written language (75-76), and mentions Hughes and Jorge Artel as outstanding poets, who both reveal and acknowledge their "trietnicidad biologica" (76) .^* More than mere personal recollection or even literary inter-textuality, these remembrances and evocations concur with the African beliefto which Zapata Olivella came to subscribeof keeping alive the memory of the departed, by which the living are able to "carry on with a firm sense of self and identity" (Prescott 131). In remembering and revering Hughes, by honoring their friendship, Zapata Olivella not only strengthened the poet's well-earned reputation within the Hispanic world but also enhanced his own position within the Americas as a talented Afi:oColombian writer committed to literature and the struggle for justice for all peoples.

Notes
This article is based on a paper originally presented at the XIV Congreso of the Asociacion de Colombianistas, Denison University, Granville, Ohio, 3-6 Aug. 2005. The author wishes to thank participants Michael Palencia-Roth, Jonathan Tittler, David Gilliam, Ligia Aldana, and Luisa Ossa for their constructive criticism given on that occasion. He also expresses his gratitude to Edelma Zapata Perez for permission to publish the inscriptions on the books that Manuel Zapata Olivella received from Langston Hughes, and to Carmen MilMn de Benavides for sharing timely clippings. Thanks also to Rosalia Comejo-Parriego for helpful suggestions throughout the writing of this paper. Sadly, even though Hughes and Zapata Olivella attained a notable measure of literary success and renown in their respective homelands, and gained significant recognition and respect in international quarters, neither managed to achieve through his writings the economic solvency and stability that he so eagerly sought. See Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Uterary Imagination (46). * See, for example, Langston Hughes's essay, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain." The Nation 23 June 1926. Several critics have commented on the friendship between Hughes and Guillen and their similar use of black musical forms. Among these Edward Mullen, Arnold Rampersad, and Richard L. Jackson assert that Hughes influenced the black poetics of Guillen. Keith Ellis, however, argues that Guillen had already taken the path that would lead to the creation of his Motivos de son (1930) and other blackinspired musical poetry. Citing both publisbed and unpublished correspondence between Hughes and Guillen and other sources, Vera Kutzinski in a recent article ("Cuba Libre: Langston Hughes y NicoMs Guillen") reexamines and raises new questions about the two poets' relationship. See, for example, Langston Hughes, "Six Letters to NicolSs Guillen," edited by Robert Chrisman.

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The words "El pais del d6lar," announcing the originally proposed title of Zapata Olivella's second book of relatos, appeared on the back cover of Posidn vagabunda. In The Big Sea; an Autobiography, wbich appeared in 1940, Hugbes recounts bis travels to tbe Caribbean, Africa, and Europe as a mess boy on a freighter in tbe 1920s. A Spanisb translation of tbe autobiograpby was publisbed in Buenos Aires in 1944 under tbe title El inmenso mar. China, 6 a.m. (1955) is the tbird volume afrer Pasidn vagabunda and He visto la noche. It is an account of tbe author's touralong witb bis sister Delia at tbe bead of a folkloric group of musicians and dancers from coastal Colombiaof tbe Peoples Republic of Cbina in tbe early 1950s. To date, there bave been four editions of He visto la noche: tbefrrst,wbicb included tbe subtitle "relatos" on tbe cover, appeared in 1953; a second was publisbed in Cuba (1962), tbree years after tbe 1959 revolution; tbe tbird, corrected, came out in 1969 and was reissued several times by Editorial Bedout of Medellfn, Colombia; and tbe fourtb and latest edition (2000) wa\ included witb Pasidn vagabunda in one volume as part of tbe Homenajes Nacionales series of tbe Ministerio de Cultura. ' As early as 1929, translations of Hugbes's poetry, including "I, Too," "Our Land," and "Negro," had begun to appear in tbe Colombian press. More information about Hugbes's reception in Colombia appears in Prescott, "We, Too, Are America: Langston Hugbes in Colombia," fortbcoming in The Langston Hughes Review Fall 2006. Tbe first edition of He visto la ruxhe contains several typograpbical errors, wbicb Zapata Olivella corrected in subsequent editions. He made otber cbanges in tbe tbird edition, for example., "Se mostr6 mas animado..." (1953: 89; 2000: 352) versus "Se mostro mds entusiasmado..." (1969: 126). Unless otberwise noted, references to He visto la noche are taken from the first edition of 1953. See Manuel Zapata Olivella, "Jorge Artel, marinero de un mar mulato." Upon meeting Hughes in Havana in 1930, Guillen likened bim to "un 'mulatico' cubano" and later reported tbat the poet, wbile watcbing a bongo player in a dance scbool, exclaimed "Yo quisiera ser negro. Bien negro. iNegro de verdad!" ("Conversacion con Langston Hugbes," reprod. in Mullen, Langston Hu^s in the Hispanic World and Haiti 111, 175). The significance of Hugbes and Zapata Olivella's mixed-race background sbould not be overlooked, for it undoubtedly influenced tbeir self-perception and tbeir writings. In The Big Sea Hughes points out that during bis early travels to African ports as a mess boy on a freigbter, tbe Africans be came in contact with did not consider him a Negro. "Tbe Africans looked at me and would not believe I was a Negro.... You see, unfortunately, I am not black," he confesses (11). Indeed, bis brown skin betrayed tbe presence of "different kinds of blood in [bis] family" (11). Zapata Olivella, wbo was also aware of bis multiracial bloodlines, would make a similar discovery during his university years. Becoming more aware of the racial dimension of social disparities in Colombia and more determined to embrace bis nation's disparaged yet beroic AfVican beritage, be was cautioned by bis mestiza motber tbat in Africa be would not be considered black ("no te tendrian por negro," ILevdntate mulato! 180). Tbe trutbfulness of ber intuition became evident wben be visited tbe predominantly black town of Puerto Tejado, Cauca, bome of bis friend and law school student Natanael Diaz, wbo bad invited bim to lecture tbere

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on Africans in Colombia. Asked by a dark-skinned woman when the Negro speaker was to arrive, Zapata Olivella joyfully informed her that he was the one, to which the woman replied in amazement, "But you're white!" (181). The poem actually begins "I, too, sing America. / I am the darker brother" and ends with the verse, "I, too, am America." It is worthwhile noting that ILevdntate muhto!, which bears as its subtitle Mexican philosopher and educator Jose Vasconcelos's slogan "Por mi raza hablarS el espiritu," first appeared in a French edition. It was published just four years after Zapata Olivella's Chango, el gran putas (1983), which introduced the Yoruba/Lucumi term "ekobio," meaning "brother," into the common parlance of black Colombians and black scholars of Afro-Hispanic literature throughout the Americas. Owing to considerations of space, Hughes's Christmas correspondence will not be included in this discussion. By July of 1947 articles by Zapata Olivella on Colombian themes and institutions were appearing in Colombian newspapers and magazines. See, for example, "Confidencias de un tinto. Tertulias bogotanas" and "Problemas del Iibro en Colombia. Los ineditos," both of which appeared in Cromos. In another article in preparation, I examine thic text more closely. Alegria acknowledged Zapata Olivella not only in the prologue but in otber writings as well. See, for example, bis article "La novela y su tecnica," America (27). According to Zapata Olivella, Hughes had also sent him a copy of his recent collection of verse titled Fields of Wonder (1947) in which he reminded the Colombian tbat he had agreed to get him a copy of Artel's book: "La obra vino acompanada de unos reclamos que me bace de Tambores en la noche, de Jorge Artel, de quien solo ha conocido unos pocos poemas que Uevaba en mi morral de vagabundo" ("Langston Hughes" ). Had Zapata Olivella been able to locate the book, it is possible tbat Hughes would have included Artel in the South American section of The Poetry of the Negro, 1749-1949 (Garden City: Doubleday, 1949), the comprehensive anthology he was then editing with Ama Bontemps. These words form part of the subtitle of W. E. B. Du Bois's book Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil, originally published in 1920 and from which one of tbe epigraphs at the head of this paper is taken. During tbis period Hughes published Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951), Laughing to Keep from Crying (1952), and Selected Poems (1959), among others. Zapata Olivella's book production included He visto la noche (1953), the play Hotel de vagahundos (1955), China 6 a.m.(1955), and the novel La Calk 10 (1960). Rampersad provides excerpts from Hughes's testimony in public hearings on Thursday, March 26, 1953 (212-19). Tbe interrogation that Hughes underwent in closed session on Tuesday, March 24, 1953, appears in the recently published (2003) transcripts of the Executive Sessions of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations (McCarthy Hearings 1953-54), Kutzinski incorrectly gives 1952 as the year of Hughes' appearance before the subcommittee (143). The transcripts are available online at: <http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/histo-

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ry/resources/pdf/Volume2.pdf >. See "Notas culturales. Novelista," El Colombiano 8 nov. 1949: 5: "El conocido novelista colombiano Manuel Zapata Olivella, recibio en el dia de ayer el grado de doctor en medicina de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia. El trabajo de tesis presentado por el joven escritor, para optar el titulo, verso sobre 'El metodo dial6ctico y las ciencias modemas'. Zapata Olivella ha publicado dos obras: Tierra mojada y Pasion vagabunda, ambas acogidas jubilosamente por la critica nacional."
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I wish to thank the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for photocopying the aforementioned pages from Pasidn vagabunda and allowing me to photograph them also. It is important to mention also tbat tbe library owns a second copy of the book, which it received from Langston Hughes in 1950, as the following words attest: " For the Schomburg Collection-his book by a Colombian Negro (mulatto) writer who spent several months in New York-Sincerely, Langston Hughes [.] New York, 2/24/50." His older daughter's full given name is Harlem Segunda, because, as Zapata Olivella informed me, his first-bom, whom he also named Harlem, died in infancy. Ironically, however, his younger daughter, Edelma, is the one wbo has inherited or followed their father's creative bent and wbo has taken responsibility for safeguarding bis intellectual memory and literary patrimony. The verses correspond to the last stanza of the poem as rendered by Colombian poet and anthropologist Carlos Lopez Narvaez. This version appeared in tbe BogotS press in 1948 and was included later in El deh en el rio; versiones de poemas del frances y del ingies (1952), a collection of poems from the French and the English tbat Lopez NarvSez translated. See pages 139-40 for Hugbes's poems. Mullen (63) lists five other translations of the poem published before 1953. Nota bem: The book's cover bears tbe date 1955 but the title page has 1954. In a section of He visto la noche (70-73) Zapata Olivella describes tbe miserable existence of tbe hotel's residents. The plays are "Mulatto," "Soul Gone Home," "Little Ham," "Simply Heavenly" and "Tambourines to Glory." " In the interview with Yvonne Captain-Hidalgo, Zapata Olivella erroneously states that he did not see Hugbes for twenty-five years, which would have been 1972, five years after Hughes's death (26). This information is taken from the author's vita that appears on the back cover of bis novel E! fusilamiento del diahb (1999). See also Manuel Zapata Olivella, "Los ancestros combatientes: una saga afro-norteamericana," Hispanic Review 10.3 (1991): 51-58.

Works Cited
Alegria, Ciro. "La novela y su tecnica." America 50.1-3 (1956): 25-28. Andrist, Debra D. "Male versus Female Friendship in Don Quijote." Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America 3.2 (1983): 149-59.

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Artel, Jorge. Tamiiores en knoc/ie (J93)-J934). Cartagena: Editora Bolivar, 1940. Chrisman, Robert. "NicoMs Guillen, Langston Hughes, and the Black American/Afro-Cuban Connection." Michigan Quarterly Review 33.4 (1994): 807-20. Du Bois, W E. B. Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. 1920. Amherst, New York: HumanityPrometheus, 2002. Durango O., Sylvana. "Zapata Olivella volvio por ultima vez a Lorica." Indymedia Colombia 27 nov. 2004. 11 May 2006 <http://colombia.indymedia.Org/news/2004/ll/19356_comment.php>. Ellis, Keitb. "NicolSs Guillen and Langston Hughes: Convergences and Divergences." Between Race and Empire: African Americans and Cubans before the Cuban Revolution. Ed. Lisa Brock and Digna Castafieda Fuertes. Philadelphia: Temple UR 1998. 129-67. Fernandez de Castro, Jos6 Antonio. "Presentaci6n de Langston Hughes." Revista de la Habana 1.3 (1930): 367-68. Rpt. in Mullen 169-71. Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979. Hughes, Langston. The Big Sea; an Autobiography. New York: Knopf, 1940. . El inmenso mar. Buenos Aires: Editorial Lautaro, 1944. . Fields of Wonder. New York: Knopf, 1947. . Five Plays. Bloomington: Indiana UR 1963. . I Wonder as I Wander; an Autobiographical Joumey. New York: Rinehart, 1956; New York: Hill & Wang, 1964. . Laughing to Keep/rom Crying. New York: Holt, 1952. . Montage o/a Dream Deferred. New York: Holt, 1951. . "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain." The Nation 23 June 1926. . Selected Poems. New York: Knopf, 1959. . "Six Letters to Nicolas Guillen." Ed. Robert Chrisman. Trans. Carmen Alegria. The Black Scholar 16.4 (1985): 54-60. . Something in Common and Other Stories. New York: Hill & Wang, 1963. . The Ways of WUte Folks. New York: Knopf, 1934. . The Weary Blues. New York: Knopf, 1926. . and Anna Bontemps, eds. T/ie Poetry o/t/ie Negro, i 746-J 949. Garden City: Doubleday, 1949. Jackson, Richard L. Black Writers and Latin America: Cross-Cultural Affinities. Wasbington, D.C: Howard UR 1998. Kutzinski, Vera. "Cuba Libre: Langston Hughes y Nicolas Guillen." Cuba; un si^ de literatura (19022002). Ed. Anke Birkenmaier and Roberto Gonzalez Echeverria. Madrid: Editorial Cloibrf, 2004. 129-46. Lopez NarvSez, Carlos, trans. E! cielo en el rio; versiones de poemas del francis y del ingles. BogotS: Ediciones Espiral Colombia, 1952. . "El negro habla de los rios". (Versi6n de Carlos Lopez NarvSez.) El Tiempo 6 junio 1948,

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Suplemento Literario: 3. Mullen, Edward. Langston Hughes in the Hispanic World and Haiti. Hamden: Archon Books, 1977. . "Notas culturales. Novelista." 1 Colombiano 8 nov. 1949: 5. Prescott, Laurence E. Without Hatreds or Fears: ]orge Artel ard the Struggle for Black Literary Expression in Colombia. Detroit: Wayne State UR 2000. . '"We, Too, Are America': Langston Hughes in Colombia." Forthcoming in The Langston Hughes Review Fall 2006. Rampersad, Arnold. The Life of Langston Hughes. 2 vols. New York: Oxford U?, 1986 and 1988. United States. Cong. Senate. Executive Sessions of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations (McCarthy Hearings 1953-54). 10 May 2006 <http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdfA'olume2.pdf>. Walker, Alice. In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983. Zapata Olivella, Manuel. "Agenda politica de un campeon. 'Mis pufios por mi raza.'" El Tiempo. 1 mar. 1948: 5. . "Cartas de un medico rural. Envidias profesionales." Ei Vrmiersal 29 Apr. 1950: 4. . Changd, el gran putas. BogotS: Oveja Negra, 1983. . China, 6 a.m. (relatos). BogotS: S. L. B., 1955. . "Confidencias de un tinto. Tertulias bogotanas." Cromos 5 julio 1947: 6, 53-54. . "Conversaci6n con el doctor Manuel Zapata Olivella, BogotS, 1980,1983." By Yvonne CaptainHidalgo. Afro-Hispanic Review 4.1 (1985): 26-32. . Cuentos de muerte y libertad. Bogota: Iqueima, 1961. . He visto la noche; relatos. BogotS: Los Andes, 1953. . "Jorge Artel, marinero de un mar mulato." ElTiempo. 12 junio 1949, Suplemento Literario: 4. . LaCaUelO. BogotS: Casa de la Cultura, 1960. . "Langston Hughes, el hombre." Archivo de Manuel Zapata Olivella. . Letras nacionales 0 (1965). Archivo de Manuel Zapata Olivella. . iLevdntatenudatol: Por mi raza hablard el esplritu. BogotS: Rei Andes Ltda., 1990. . "Los ancestros combatientes: una saga afro-norteamericana." Afro-Hisparuc Review 10.3 (1991): 51-58. . Pasidn vagabunda (relatos). BogotS: Santa Fe, 1949. . Pasidn vagabunda. Homenaje Nacional de Literatura. BogotS: Ministerio de Cultura, 2000. 22325. . "Problemas del libro en Colombia. Los in^ditos." Cromos 16 aug. 1947: 8-9, 49, 53. . Tierra rmjada. Intro. Ciro Alegria. BogotS: Espiral Colombia, 1947.

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