Or view alphabetic list of poems. Langston Hughes Biography James Mercer Langston Hughes was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form, jazz poetry.
New York, New York African American poet and playwright American author Langston Hughes, a moving spirit in the artistic movement of the s often called the Harlem Renaissance, expressed the mind and spirit of most African Americans for nearly half a century.
Langston and James N. His parents separated soon after his birth, and Hughes was raised mainly by his mother, his grandmother, and a childless couple, the Reeds. He attended public schools in Kansas and Illinois and upon graduating elementary school, Hughes was named class poet, although he had never even written a poem.
That title sparked an interest in writing poetry. Hughes graduated from high school in Cleveland, Ohio, in His high school companions, most of whom were white, remembered him as a handsome "Indian-looking" youth whom everyone liked and respected for his quiet, natural ways and his abilities.
He won an athletic letter in track and held offices in the student council and the American Civic Association. In high school Hughes was introduced to the works of poet Carl Sandburg —another poet from the Midwest.
Also at this time, Hughes himself began writing poetry and developing his unique style. He began submitting his work to magazines, but all were rejected.
A career begins Hughes spent the year after high school in Mexico with his father, who tried to discourage him from writing. But Hughes's poetry and prose writings were beginning to appear in the Brownie's Book, a publication for children edited by W.
Du Bois —and he was starting work on more ambitious material for adult readers. The poem "A Negro Speaks of River," which marked this development, appeared in the Crisis magazine in Meanwhile, the Crisis printed several more of his poems.
Finding the atmosphere at Columbia unfriendly, Hughes left after a year. He took on odd jobs in New York, and in he signed on to work on a freighter a large ship.
His first voyage took him down the west coast of Africa; his second took him to Spain. In he spent six months in Paris, France. He was relatively happy, produced Langston Hughes. Most of this verse poetry appeared in African American publications, but Vanity Fair, a magazine popular among middle-and upper-class women, published three poems.
Later in Hughes went to live with his mother in Washington, D. He hoped to earn enough money to return to college, but work as a hotel busboy paid very little, and life in the nation's capital, where racial tensions were fierce, made him unhappy.
But he was able to write many poems.
That summer one of his essays and another poem won prizes in the Crisis literary contest. Meanwhile, Hughes had come to the attention of Carl Van Vechten, a novelist and critic, who arranged publication of Hughes's first volume of poetry, The Weary Blues This book projected Hughes's lasting themes, established his style, and suggested the wide range of his poetic talent.
It showed him committed to racial themes—pride in blackness and in his African heritage, and the everyday life of African Americans—and democracy government ruled by the people and patriotism the support of one's country.
Hughes transformed the bitterness which such themes generated in many African Americans of the day into sharp irony and humor.
His casual, folklike style was strengthened in his second book, Fine Clothes to the Jew A literary success Hughes had resumed his education in and graduated from Lincoln University in Not without Laughter was his first novel. The story portrays an African American boy, Sandy, caught between two worlds and two attitudes.
The boy's hardworking and respectable mother provides a counterpoint to his energetic, easygoing, footloose father. The mother is oriented to the middle-class values of the white world; the father believes that fun and laughter are the only things worth pursuing. Though the boy's character is blurred, Hughes's attention to the details of African American culture in America gives the novel insight and power.
The relative commercial success of Not without Laughter inspired Hughes to make his living as an author.Charles and Mary's daughter Caroline was the mother of Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, the second child of school teacher Carrie (Caroline) Mercer Langston and James Nathaniel Hughes (–).
Langston Hughes grew up in a series of Midwestern small towns. Langston Hughes Langston Hughes Writer James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, – May 22, ) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and vetconnexx.com was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry.
James Mercer Langston Hughes was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form, jazz poetry. However, Hughes is best-known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, , to Carrie M.
Langston and James N. Hughes. His parents separated soon after his birth, and Hughes was raised mainly by his mother, his grandmother, and a childless couple, the vetconnexx.com: May 22, 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. Langston Hughes, in full James Mercer Langston Hughes, (born February 1, ?, Joplin, Missouri, U.S.—died May 22, , New York, New York), American writer who was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and made the African American experience the subject of his writings, which ranged from poetry and plays to novels and newspaper columns.