An immensely overdue event, the integration of the New York Police Department was marked by Mr. Samuel Battle’s appointment to the New York City police force in 1911. As the first African-American officer in the department, Mr. Battle’s various accomplishments were monumental, inducing him to hire Langston Hughes, famed poet, to write his biography in 1949. Although Hughes largely dismissed Samuel Battle’s biography in pursuit of larger stories, Arthur Browne was inspired to write a book with Mr. Battle as the subject. Browne, a man of Irish descent and journalist during the 1970’s, compiled and built off of the work by Samuel Battle and Langston Hughes. Although Browne’s book is to be published long after the deaths of both Battle and Hughes, it marks the importance of continued remembrance of both the triumphs and failures of U.S. race relations. To find out more about Samuel Battle’s contributions and Arthur Browne’s literary process, click here.
Finishing What a Poet Left Undone