Langston Hughes was born on February 1st, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. It time of segregation. His parents divorced when he was young.
Yong Langston Hughes lived with his grandma as a child. It was his grandma that took him to hear Booker T. Washington which would inspire him to write a poem later on. Listening to blues music and church spirituals as a child would also influence his poetry. He had to live through discrimination, where blacks were kept separate from each other.
When Langston Hughes went to school, he was elected class poet. He had to live in poverty for most of his youth. He wanted to go to college but his mom couldn't afford it. when he was going on a trip to visit his dad, the train he was riding crossed the Mississippi river and he was inspired to write the poem "The Negro Speaks of the River" on the train. He taught English to wealthy Mexicans and saved enough money to go to college. He went to college at Columbia University in 1921 but left after one year to travel the world.
Death and Legacy
Langston Hughes joined the crew of a boat going to Africa and worked as the cook. Once he reached Africa, Langston began travelling to Europe, paying expenses by working as a dishwasher. He wrote a few poems and sent them to the U.S. to be published while on his trip. He Finally came back to the U.S.A. and went to college in 1926. He graduated from Lincoln University in 1929. He then chose to become a writer to earn money.
Langston Hughes became part of the Harlem Renaissance and tried to spend as much time in Harlem, New York as possible. He wrote the Famous poem "Harlem" and founded a theater there. He also wrote plays and composed music there. African-American activists accused him of not being committed to the cause. Langston was also condemned for communist opinions.
Langston Hughes died on May 22, 1967 in New York from cancer. His ashes were buried under the entrance of the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, located in Harlem, New York. Langston Hughes is considered one of the best poets in the 20th century.