Born:February 1,1967 in Joplin,Missouri
Died:May 22,1967 after having abdominal surgery
”(James) Langston Hughes began writing in high school, and even at this early age was developing the voice that made him famous.” ”Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, but lived with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas until he was thirteen and then with his mother in Lincoln, Illinois and Cleveland, Ohio where he went to high school. Hughes’s grandmother, Mary Sampson Patterson Leary Langston, was prominent in the African American community in Lawrenc.”
His grandmother would take care of him,but after she died he had to live with his mother and his step-father.they were planing to move ,but James Lungton Hughes wanted to stay and finish high school.
”After graduating from high school, Hughes planned to return to Mexico to visit with his father, in order to try to convince him that he should pay for his son’s college education at Columbia University in New York City. At Columbia, Hughes thought, he could get a college education but also begin his career as a writer. On his way to Mexico on the train, while thinking about his past and his future, Hughes wrote the famous poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” After arriving in Mexico, the tension between Hughes and his father was strong. Hughes wanted to be a writer; his father wanted him to be an engineer.”
”After Hughes sent some of his poetry to the Brownies Book and Crisis magazines and it was accepted, his father was impressed enough to agree to pay for a year at Columbia University. ”
”In Langston Hughes’s poetry, he uses the rhythms of African American music, particularly blues and jazz. This sets his poetry apart from that of other writers, and it allowed him to experiment with a very rhythmic free verse. Hughes’s second volume of poetry, Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927), was not well received at the time of its publication because it was too experimental. Now, however, many critics believe the volume to be among Hughes’s finest work.”
”Langston Hughes was, in his later years, deemed the “Poet Laureate of the Negro Race,” a title he encouraged. Hughes meant to represent the race in his writing and he was, perhaps, the most original of all African American poets.”
”On May 22, 1967 Langston Hughes died after having had abdominal surgery. Hughes’ funeral, like his poetry, was all blues and jazz: the jazz pianist Randy Weston was called and asked to play for Hughes’s funeral.”
Langston Hughes Biography: African-American History: Crossing Boundaries: Kansas Humanities Council.” Kansas Heritage Group | Established 1993 | Kansas (KS) History, Old WestKS, Cities, Museums, Art, Racing, Cowboy Cooking, Laughead Web | Www.kansasheritage.org. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. <http://www.kansasheritage.org/crossingboundaries/page6e1.html>.