Langston Hughes was the first African American to write poetry about the life of black people.
Langston Hughes was born on February, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. His parents seperated soon after his birth. Langston was raised by his grandmother. She died when he was a teenager. He went to live with his mother in Cleveland, Ohio. That is when he started poetry.
Langston worked in various jobs. He met an American poet named Vachel Lindsay. He showed her some of his poems and she was impressed. She influenced him to bring them to an audience. He ultimately brang them to a larger audience. He recieved a scholarship to Licoln University, in Pennsylvania. Langston then released his first book of poetry, "The Weary Blues. His book had become very popular.
In 1940, Langston released an autobiography, "The Big Sea". He tried to further explore racial issues. Langston wrote lyrics for a song that became so popular, that he was able to buy a house in Harlem. He also taught creative writing in Atlanta University and was a guest lecturer at a university in Chicago for several months.
On May 22, 1967, Langston Hughes died from complications of prostate cancer. A tribute to his poetry, his funeral contained a little eulogy, but was filled with jazz and blues music.
Langston Hughes's ashes were buried under the entrance of Arthur Schomburg Center. The inscription marking the spot features a line from Hughes's poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." It reads, "My soul has grown deep like the rivers." Volumes of his work continue to be published and translated throughout the world.