Langston Hughes

William Grubbs

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes First published in The Crisis in 1921, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", which became Hughes's signature poem, was collected in his first book of poetry The Weary Blues (1926). Hughes's first and last published poems appeared in The Crisis; more of his poems were published in The Crisis than in any other journal. During the mid−1950s and −1960s, Hughes' popularity among the younger generation of black writers varied even as his reputation increased worldwide. With the gradual advancement toward racial integration, many black writers considered his writings of black pride and its corresponding subject matter out of date. They considered him a racial chauvinist. He found some new writers, including James Baldwin, lacking in such pride, over intellectual in their work, and occasionally vulgar. On May 22, 1967, Hughes died from complications after abdominal surgery, related to prostate cancer, at the age of 65. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, the second child of school teacher Carrie (Caroline) Mercer Langston and James Nathaniel Hughes (1871–1934).