W. Jason Miller investigates the nearly three dozen poems written by Langston Hughes on the subject of lynching to explore its varying effects on survivors, victims, and accomplices as they resisted, accepted, and executed this brutal form of sadistic torture. In this work, Miller initiates an important dialogue between America's neglected history of lynching and some of the world's most significant poems. He begins with Hughes's teenage years during the Red Summer of 1919, moves on to the Scottsboro case beginning in 1931, then continues through WWII, the McCarthy era, the Red Scare, his interrogation before HUAC in the 1950s, and at last to the civil rights movement that took root toward the end of Hughes's life. Key poems, including "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Christ in Alabama," and "Dream Deferred," revisit the height of Hughes's overt resistance and anger as he ardently wrote to keep this topic in the forefront of American consciousness. Miller then traces the poet's use of allusion in his later works and ultimately examines how Hughes used strategies learned from photography to negotiate censorship in the 1950s. This volume represents a crucial and long-overdue contribution to our understanding of the art and politics of Langston Hughes---a man who never knew of an America where the very real threat of lynching was absent from the cultural landscape.