Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes

"James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 - May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that 'the negro was in vogue,' which was later paraphrased as 'when Harlem was in vogue'" (Wikipedia).

"By the time of his death in 1967, Langston Hughes had become one of the most important writers in American history and had influenced a new generation of black writers, including Paule Marshall, Alice Walker, and Amari Baraka. In recognition of his large presence in the literary world he had won the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP and had been inducted into the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Several of his plays had made it to Broadway, including 'Black Nativity,' which has been staged continuously since 1962. He remains perhaps the most widely read black poet, a 'poet of the people,' as his words articulated the hopes, fears, dreams, struggles and aspirations of an entire nation during most of the twentieth century" (Best).


"In addition to leaving us a large body of poetic work, Hughes wrote 11 plays and countless works of prose, including the well-known 'Simple' books such as Simple Speaks His Mind, (Simon & Schuster, 1950). He edited two anthologies: The Poetry of the Negro and The Book of Negro Folklore. He wrote an acclaimed autobiography, The Big Sea, and co-wrote the play 'Mule Bone' with Zora Neale Hurston in 1991" (American Academy of Poets).

Lasting Impact


LangstonHughesby Jo Marengo


Hughes achieved immortality through his literary contributions as evidenced by Google's celebra- of what would have been his 113th birthday. Google posted an animated sequence on its homepage on February 1, 2015. Click on image above to play.

Best, Wallace. "Celebrating Black History Month - Langston Hughes." Princeton University. Trustees of Princeton University. 4 March 2011. Web. 20 July 2015."Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Literature 215." Crash Course, 2 June 2014. Web. 20 June 2015."Langston Hughes' 113th Brithday Google Doodle." YouTube. You Tube, 1 Feb. 2015 Web. 20 July 2015. ."Langston Hughes." Academy of American Poets. Web. 20 July 2015. "Langston Hughes." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 2 July 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. quotes- about -freedom. Web. 20 July people/h/langston_hughes/ Web. 20 July 2015.


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