Langston Hughes (February 01, 1902 - May 22, 1967)
Born: 1st February, 1902
Died: 22nd May, 1967
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Poet
Region: New York, Missouri
Literary movement: Harlem Renaissance
Notable works: "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", "Mule Bone", "Harlem", "Dream Variation", "The Big Sea", "Not Without Laughter", "The Weary Blues", "Fine Clothes to the Jew"
Genres: Drama, Fiction
Types of literature: Poems, Essay, Play, Prose

Langston Hughes Facts

Biography

Langston Hughes, in full James Mercer Langston Hughes, (born February 1, 1902?, Joplin, Missouri, U.S.—died May 22, 1967, New York, New York), American writer who was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and made the African American experience the subject of his writings, which ranged from poetry and plays to novels and newspaper columns.

While it was long believed that Hughes was born in 1902, new research released in 2018 indicated that he might have been born the previous year. His parents separated soon after his birth, and he was raised by his mother and grandmother. After his grandmother’s death, he and his mother moved to half a dozen cities before reaching Cleveland, where they settled. He wrote the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” the summer after his graduation from high school in Cleveland; it was published in The Crisis in 1921 and brought him considerable attention. After attending Columbia University in New York City in 1921–22, he explored Harlem, forming a permanent attachment to what he called the “great dark city,” and worked as a steward on a freighter bound for Africa. Back in New York City from seafaring and sojourning in Europe, he met in 1924 the writers Arna Bontemps and Carl Van Vechten, with whom he would have lifelong influential friendships. Hughes won an Opportunity magazine poetry prize in 1925. That same year, Van Vechten introduced Hughes’s poetry to the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, who accepted the collection that Knopf would publish as The Weary Blues in 1926.

While working as a busboy in a hotel in Washington, D.C., in late 1925, Hughes put three of his own poems beside the plate of Vachel Lindsay in the dining room. The next day, newspapers around the country reported that Lindsay, among the most popular white poets of the day, had “discovered” an African American busboy poet, which earned Hughes broader notice. Hughes received a scholarship to, and began attending, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in early 1926. That same year, he received the Witter Bynner Undergraduate Poetry Award, and he published “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” in The Nation , a manifesto in which he called for a confident, uniquely black literature:

We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either.

By the time Hughes received his degree in 1929, he had helped launch the influential magazine Fire!!, in 1926, and he had also published a second collection of poetry, Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927), which was criticized by some for its title and for its frankness, though Hughes himself felt that it represented another step forward in his writing.

A few months after Hughes’s graduation, Not Without Laughter (1930), his first prose volume, had a cordial reception. In the 1930s he turned his poetry more forcefully toward racial justice and political radicalism. He traveled in the American South in 1931 and decried the Scottsboro case; he then traveled widely in the Soviet Union, Haiti, Japan, and elsewhere and served as a newspaper correspondent (1937) during the Spanish Civil War. He published a collection of short stories, The Ways of White Folks (1934), and became deeply involved in theatre. His play Mulatto, adapted from one of his short stories, premiered on Broadway in 1935, and productions of several other plays followed in the late 1930s. He also founded theatre companies in Harlem (1937) and Los Angeles (1939). In 1940 Hughes published The Big Sea, his autobiography up to age 28. A second volume of autobiography, I Wonder As I Wander, was published in 1956.

Hughes documented African American literature and culture in works such as A Pictorial History of the Negro in America (1956) and the anthologies The Poetry of the Negro (1949) and The Book of Negro Folklore (1958; with Bontemps). He continued to write numerous works for the stage, including the lyrics for Street Scene, an opera with music by Kurt Weill that premiered in 1947. Black Nativity (1961; film 2013) is a gospel play that uses Hughes’s poetry, along with gospel standards and scriptural passages, to retell the story of the birth of Jesus. It was an international success, and performances of the work—often diverging substantially from the original—became a Christmas tradition in many black churches and cultural centres. He also wrote poetry until his death; The Panther and the Lash, published posthumously in 1967, reflected and engaged with the Black Power movement and, specifically, the Black Panther Party, which was founded the previous year.

Among his other writings, Hughes translated the poetry of Federico García Lorca and Gabriela Mistral. He was also widely known for his comic character Jesse B. Semple, familiarly called Simple, who appeared in Hughes’s columns in the Chicago Defender and the New York Post and later in book form and on the stage. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel, appeared in 1994. Some of his political exchanges were collected as Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond (2016).

Top 34 Langston Hughes quotes

Even the 'Negro' shows like 'Amos and Andy' and 'Beulah' are written largely by white writers - the better to preserve the stereotypes, I imagine.
Andy
Better
Even
Imagine
Largely
Like
Preserve
Shows
Stereotypes
White
Writers
Written
It's such a Bore Being always Poor.
Always
Being
Bore
Poor
Certainly there is, for the American Negro artist who can escape the restrictions the more advanced among his own group would put upon him, a great field of unused material ready for his art.
Advanced
American
Among
Art
Artist
Certainly
Escape
Field
Great
Group
Him
His
Material
More
I live in Harlem, New York City. I am unmarried. I like 'Tristan,' goat's milk, short novels, lyric poems, heat, simple folk, boats and bullfights; I dislike 'Aida,' parsnips, long novels, narrative poems, cold, pretentious folk, buses and bridges.
Am
Boats
Bridges
Buses
City
Cold
Dislike
Folk
Goat
Harlem
Heat
I Am
Like
Live
I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.
Almost
Anywhere
Discovered
Getting
Go
Life
Really
Want
Ways
You
To my mind, it is the duty of the younger Negro artist, if he accepts any duties at all from outsiders, to change through the force of his art that old whispering 'I want to be white,' hidden in the aspirations of his people, to 'Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro - and beautiful!'
Accepts
Am
Any
Art
Artist
Aspirations
Beautiful
Change
Duties
Duty
Force
He
Hidden
His
Beauty for some provides escape, who gain a happiness in eyeing the gorgeous buttocks of the ape or Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying.
Ape
Autumn
Beauty
Dying
Escape
Gain
Gorgeous
Happiness
Provides
Some
Sunsets
Who
We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too.
Artists
Beautiful
Create
Express
Fear
Glad
Individual
Intend
Know
Matter
Now
Our
People
Pleased
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
Bird
Cannot
Die
Dreams
Fast
Fly
Hold
Life
Life Is A
Writing is like travelling. It's wonderful to go somewhere, but you get tired of staying.
Get
Go
Like
Somewhere
Staying
Tired
Travelling
Wonderful
Writing
You
I was a victim of a stereotype. There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class, and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry. Well, everybody knows - except us - that all Negroes have rhythms, so they elected me class poet.
Always
Class
Elected
English
English Teacher
Everybody
Except
Importance
Kids
Knows
Me
Negroes
Only
Our
When peoples care for you and cry for you, they can straighten out your soul.
Care
Cry
Out
People
Soul
Straighten
You
Your
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or does it explode?
Does
Dream
Dry
Explode
Happens
Like
Raisin
Sun
Up
Perhaps the mission of an artist is to interpret beauty to people - the beauty within themselves.
Artist
Beauty
Interpret
Mission
People
Perhaps
Themselves
Within
An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.
Afraid
Also
Artist
Certainly
Choose
Does
Free
He
Might
Must
Never
I will not take 'but' for an answer.
Answer
Take
Will
Violent anger makes me physically ill.
Anger
Ill
Makes
Me
Physically
Violent
Very early in life, it seemed to me that there was a relationship between the problems of the Negro people in America and the Jewish people in Russia, and that the Jewish people's problems were worse than ours.
America
Between
Early
Jewish
Jewish People
Life
Me
Ours
People
Problems
Relationship
Russia
Seemed
Than
My personal experience has been that in my 25 years of writing, I have not been asked to do more than four or five commercial one-shot scripts. These were performed on major national hook-ups but produced for me no immediate additional jobs or requests. One script for BBC was done around the world with an all-star cast.
Additional
All-Star
Around
Asked
BBC
Been
Cast
Commercial
Done
Experience
Five
Four
Has-Been
Immediate
Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.
Air
Cleanse
Cool
Earth
Humor
Like
May
Rain
Suddenly
Summer
Welcome
You
Humor is laughing at what you haven't got when you ought to have it.
Got
Humor
Laughing
Ought
You
Jazz, to me, is one of the inherent expressions of Negro life in America: the eternal tom-tom beating in the Negro soul - the tom-tom of revolt against weariness in a white world, a world of subway trains, and work, work, work; the tom-tom of joy and laughter, and pain swallowed in a smile.
Against
America
Beating
Eternal
Expressions
Inherent
Jazz
Joy
Laughter
Life
Me
Pain
Revolt
Smile
Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.
Barren
Dreams
Fast
Field
Frozen
Go
Hold
Life
Life Is A
Snow
I must never write when I do not want to write.
Must
Never
Want
Write
The Jewish people and the Negro people both know the meaning of Nordic supremacy. We have both looked into the eyes of terror.
Both
Eyes
Jewish
Jewish People
Know
Looked
Meaning
Meaning Of
People
Supremacy
Terror
In all my life, I have never been free. I have never been able to do anything with freedom, except in the field of my writing.
Able
All My Life
Anything
Been
Except
Field
Free
Freedom
Life
My Life
Never
Writing
One of the great needs of Negro children is to have books about themselves and their lives that can help them be proud.
About
Books
Children
Great
Help
Lives
Needs
Proud
Them
Themselves
Without going outside his race, and even among the better classes with their 'white' culture and conscious American manners, but still Negro enough to be different, there is sufficient matter to furnish a black artist with a lifetime of creative work.
American
Among
Artist
Be Different
Better
Black
Classes
Conscious
Creative
Creative Work
Culture
Different
Enough
Even
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
Beat
Drops
Head
Kiss
Liquid
Lullaby
Rain
Silver
Sing
You
Your
My chief literary influences have been Paul Laurence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman. My favorite public figures include Jimmy Durante, Marlene Dietrich, Mary McLeod Bethune, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, and Henry Armstrong.
Anderson
Armstrong
Been
Chief
Favorite
Figures
Franklin
Henry
Include
Influences
Jimmy
Laurence
Literary
Mary
We Negro writers, just by being black, have been on the blacklist all our lives. Censorship for us begins at the color line.
All Our Lives
Been
Begins
Being
Black
Censorship
Color
Just
Line
Lives
Our
Our Lives
Us
Writers
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
Deep
Grown
Like
My Soul
Rivers
Soul
My writing has been largely concerned with the depicting of Negro life in America.
America
Been
Concerned
Depicting
Has-Been
Largely
Life
Writing
I swear to the Lord, I still can't see, why Democracy means, everybody but me.
Democracy
Everybody
Lord
Me
Means
See
Still
Swear
Why

Langston Hughes books

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics)

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics)

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes: A Classic Collection of Poems by a Master of American Verse (Vintage Classics)

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes: A Classic Collection of Poems by a Master of American Verse (Vintage Classics)

The Big Sea: An Autobiography (American Century Series)

The Big Sea: An Autobiography (American Century Series)

Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes

Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes

The Ways of White Folks: Stories (Vintage Classics)

The Ways of White Folks: Stories (Vintage Classics)

I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey

I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey

The Best of Simple: Stories (American Century)

The Best of Simple: Stories (American Century)

The Dream Keeper and Other Poems

The Dream Keeper and Other Poems

Black Nativity

Black Nativity

Not Without Laughter (Dover Thrift Editions)

Not Without Laughter (Dover Thrift Editions)

Coming Home: From the Life of Langston Hughes

Coming Home: From the Life of Langston Hughes

Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal

Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal

Langston Hughes essays

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Harlem Re Titled Goal Deferred English Literature Essay
The city, Harlem, the source of expectation and a beck of light for the dark community through the 1920's and 30's, dished up as a fountain of enthusiasm as the creative talent and aspirations flowed from the streets of the neighborhoods. The Great Migration drew thousands of African People in the usa to the city. The Harlem Renaissance developed out of the transformations that acquired occurred in the DARK-COLORED society ever since the abolition of slavery. The limelight from those Harlem lamps and stage equipment and lighting was the illumination of a individuals who was never supposed to..
'Theme For English B'
Langston Hughes' poem "Theme for English B" is an important three stanza section which explores an exceptionally tarnished subject. You can find negligible intricacy in Hughes selection of diction; nonetheless there is certainly persuasion and shrewdness evident through this poem. The speaker begins to make a catalogue of things that make him enjoy and be delightful, "Well, I love to eat, sleeping, drink, and be in loveâ. " (Hughes 21) He thinks logically, that as an African American does not make him so different from other races. The topic is so evident to him, "So will my webpage be coloured..
To Believe or perhaps Not To Believe that
To Believe or Not to ImagineThe brief narrative "Salvation" portrays the life span of Langston Hughes while very young confronted with your decision to "come forward" and stay saved. His aunt's church, " held a special getting together with for children, ‘to bring the fresh lambs for the fold'"(Hughes, 197). Throughout the account, he sits down in his couch, his great aunt Reed crying the whole period, congregation pressuring him to "come and stay saved, " and ready to see Jesus. Yet nothing ever happens-no "bright mild, "..
Overcoming Racism in One Thursday Morning by simply Langston Barnes Essay
Over the history of our society, there are many instances of individuals who have get over great obstacles in their lives. One prevalent challenge has been for particular races which were faced with racial discrimination. In a single Friday Morning hours, Langston Hughes illustrates this technique and what can be done to defeat the ethnic barrier.In One Comes to an end Morning, Nancy Lee is definitely an African-American high school student who has a passion for art. Within her institution, Nancy Shelter fits in with the other pupils even though she's not of the same race. Even though she..
Langston Hughes' Salvation Article example
Langston Hughes' SalvationFor most people's lives, there comes a spot in time in which their perception changes abruptly; a single instant in their life if they come into a sudden realization. In Langston Hughes' 'Salvation', contrary to every expectations, a Hughes is not salvaged by Christ, but is usually saved from his own innocence.'Salvation' is the history of a fresh boy who has an experience of revelation. Whilst attending a church revival, he comes to the immediate realization that Jesus will not physically arrive save him.In the initial three..
Essay of a Universal Renaissance Man
A Universal Renaissance ManJames Mercer Langston Hughes was created February you, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri, to school tutor Carrie (Caroline) Mercer Langston and David Nathaniel Hughes. Hughes' daddy left his family, and later divorced Barbara moving to Cuba, and then Mexico planning to escape the racism in the usa. Since his mom visited looking for function, young Langston was being elevated by his maternal grandma, Mary Patterson Langston in Lawrence, Kansas. She informed him testimonies of abolitionist and brave slaves who have struggled because of their freedom, it absolutely..
"A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes Essay
The poem A Dream Deferred simply by Langston Hughes basically describes what happens to dreams when they are place on hold. The speaker in the poem formerly entitled it Harlem, which is the capital of African-American life in the United States. The title was changed to accommodate all dreams generally speaking, and what are the results when people postpone making them become a reality. The speakers attitude toward the poem is an advice-giving attitude. The poet person doesnt need people to put off getting what exactly they want.The composition is written in an informative/caring tone to help..
The Affects for Langston Hughes' Powerful Writing Job Essays
American literature and American tradition have always been linked throughout our history. Langston Hughes could recognize that, "Man had the shortcoming to bridge cultures" (Bloom 16). In one of his writings, Luani of the Jungles, Langston creates about the interactions within a relationship among a light man and a dark-colored woman, "that is certainly not ruined by simply outside disapproval, but the man's own passion and oversimplification of their racial differences" (16). Hughes's capacity to speak honestly about his ideas received him the title..
The effort of Langston Hughes Dissertation example
The Work of Langston BarnesLangston Barnes is considered by many people readers as the most significant dark-colored poet with the twentieth hundred years. He is described as ... the beloved author of poems steeped inside the richness of African American culture, poems that exude Hughes s affection intended for black People in america across every divisions of region, class, and male or female. (Rampersad 3) His writing was both depressing and beneficial at times. His poetry, comprising five many years from 1926 to 1967, reflected the changing black experience in the usa, from the Harlem Renaissance..
The Harlem Renaissance Composition
Harlem RenaissanceThe Harlem Renaissance was a moments of racism, injustice, and importance. Somewhere between the 1920s and 1930s an African American movement occurred in Harlem, Nyc. The Harlem Renaissance optimistic the unique culture of African-Americans and redefined African-American manifestation. It was a result of Blacks migrating in the North, mostly Chicago, il and New york city. There were a large number of significant figures, both guy and female, that had used part inside the Harlem Renaissance. Ida W. Wells and Langston Hughes exemplify so on and job of this activity.Wells..
An Analysis of Harlem a Poem by Langston Barnes Essay
Dreams are aspirations that people hope to achieve in their lifetime. They are a motive that pushes lives to perform goals. When trying to accomplish these desired goals, people may do anything. Yet , what happens when a dream can be deferred? A dream cast aside can easily frustrate a person inside the deepest approach. It is likely to permeate their thoughts and becomes a great unshakable burden. In the composition "Harlem, " Langston Hughes, through literary technique, elevates strong styles through a brief amount of language.The composition begins which has a question: "What..
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