Langston Hughes

By; Ratese Brown


James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902. His parents divorced when he was a very young child. Afterwards, his father moved to Mexico and Langston was forced to live with his grandmother until he was thirteen. At the age of 14 he later moved to Lincoln, Illinois to live with his mother and her new husband. Not long after that, the family settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Hughes died in the year of 1967.


It was in the town of Lincoln that Hughes began writing poetry, After graduating high school he spent one year in Mexico, followed by a year at Columbia University in New York City. During this time, he held jobs that weren't poetry related such as; assistant cook, launderer, and busboy. He also traveled to Africa and Europe working as a seamen. In 1924 he moved to Washington D.C. He finished his college education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania three years later.


"A famous poet?" "No way that could possibly happen for you Langston Hughes!!!"

Unfortunately, Langston Hughes did not have a very good support system. Even though we all may have been talked bad about, but to be discouraged by your own father has to be challenging. Langston's father (James Nathaniel Hughes) told him that there was no possible way he become the famous poet he is today. Not only did his father tried to refocus his mind on becoming a poet, many others also doubted Hughes. All the negative talk about him has a huge role to play in Langston becoming the man he will always be remembered as still yet today.

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Hughes first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, (Knopf, 1926) was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1926. He also wrote novels, short stories, and plays as well as poetry. In 1930 his first novel Nothing Without Laughter, won the Harmon gold medal for literature.

Famous Poems by Langston Hughes

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