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Hughes | Langston [Marshall | Thurgood]

Simple Takes a Wife

First Edition



“I am equal, as you are, but separate we remain!”

First edition of Simple Takes A Wife by Langston Hughes, inscribed to his friend and future Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall.

Octavo, 240pp, [1]. Illustrated hardcover with laminated boards. Some toning to spine and wear to lamination at seams. Stated “first printing” on copyright page. Light toning to leaves, scattered foxing to last 3 leaves. (Bruccoli & Clark III: 163) Housed in custom blue cloth clamshell, title in gilt on red morocco. Inscribed to Thurgood Marshall on the front free end paper: “For Thurgood – my friend – Happy Birthday – “I am equal, as you are, but separate we remain!” Sincerely, Langston.” Full signature of Langston Hughes on front free end paper. Signed by Thurgood Marshall on title page.

Comments: Future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall met Langston Hughes while studying at Lincoln University in 1925. They became lifelong friends. The birthday inscription, which notes the infamous “separate but equal” doctrine stemming from the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision of 1896, was challenged by NAACP chief council Thurgood Marshall. Marshall would argue Brown v. Board of Education before the supreme court and successfully overturned segregation in public schools. His success in these cases led President John F. Kennedy to appoint Marshall to the United States Court of Appeals. Six years later, President Johnson would appoint Marshall to the Supreme Court, making him the first African American to hold the post.

Additional information

Location Published

New York


Simon and Schuster


First Edition

Date Published





Very Good

Jacket Condition

Hughes | Langston [Marshall | Thurgood]