Fun Facts Friday: Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1 February, 1902 – 22 May, 1967) was a poet, novelist, playwright & translator born in Missouri, and a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

Books by Langston Hughes*

  1. Born as James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri. Both his paternal great-grandmothers were slaves, and both paternal great-grandfathers were white slave owners in Kentucky.
  2. When he was a young boy, Mr. Hughes’ parents divorced. His father moved to Mexico and he was raised by his grandmother until he was thirteen years old, at which time he moved to Lincoln, IL to live with his mother and her husband. Later on the family settled in Cleveland, OH.
  3. After high school, Mr. Hughes lived for a year in Mexico with his father, and spent a year at Columbia University.
  4. Hughes worked as a seaman traveling to Africa and Europe.
  5. Hughe’s first and last published poems were in The Crisis which is the official magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAASCP).
  6. Hughes went to Lincoln University in Chester County, PA. One of his classmates was Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.
  7. In 1926 Alfred A. Knopf published Mr. Hughes’ first book of poetry, The Weary Blues.
  8. Hughes was drown to Communism as an alternative to a segregated America. He even traveled to the Soviet Union to make a film on the plight of African Americans. The film was never made.
    However, Mr. Hughes always denied being a Communist and distanced himself after testifying in 1953 before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
  9. Hughes’ body of work includes novels, poems, operas, essays, plays, short stories, children stories, an autobiography and several translations.
  10. Hughes passed away in New York City after complications from surgery. His ashes are beneath a floor medallion in the middle of the foyer in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

Books by Langston Hughes*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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