Langston Hughes

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by KhephJ
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Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

Langston was an American poet, social activist, playwright, and columnist whose African American themes made him a primary contributor of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

Hughes graduated from high school in 1920 and spent the following year in Mexico with his father.

Hughes was also a regular contributor to his school's literary magazine, and frequently submitted to other poetry magazines, although they would reject him.

In 1925 he was working as a busboy in a washington, D.C. hotel resturant when he met american poet Vachel Lindsay who used his connections to promote Hughes's poetry to a wider audience.



Lasting Impact

Langston Hughes was one of the earliest innovators of the then new literary art form called jazz poetry. He quickly became a part of the Harlem Renaissance. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" was his first published poem in The Crisis magazine and was highly praised.


Birth & Death

James Mercer Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin Missouri. He died in New York City on May 22, 1967 from complications from prostate cancer.

In 1925 Hughes's poem "The Weary Blues" won first prize in the Opportunity magazine literary competition. He also received a scholarship to Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania. The Weary Blues was published in 1926. The book had popular appeal and established his poetic style and committment to black themes and heritage. Hughes was among the dfirst to use jazz riythms and dialect to depict the life of urban blacks in his work. He published a second volume of poetry, Fine Clothes to the Jew, in 1927.


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