We are starting this month off by recognizing the life and achievements of famed author/poet Langston Hughes. During his life Hughes wrote a number of pieces exploring African-American culture in the states for both adults and children. His writings were not only revolutionary in that they directly addressed a culture, instead of focusing on personal pieces as was popular back in the 1920’s, but that they were also a mixture of serious conversation and humor. Hughes did not shy away from writing reality, and he had plenty of material to talk about.
James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Missouri on February 1, 1902. By the time he graduated high school he had moved and lived in Illinois and Ohio as well, before going to university in New York City. He was first and foremost a writer, but he has also done work as launderer, a busboy, a cook, and a seaman travelling to Europe and Africa. His first book of poems, The Weary Blues, hit the shelves in 1926 and his colorful career took off from there. Soon he became a famous figure of the Harlem Renaissance, touching a nation and sparking conversation for yours to come. He eventually died in 1967 leaving “The Langston Hughes Place” in New York City and a number of books for the world to enjoy. So, this February take a moment to pick up a book by Langston Hughes in honor of this simple man and what would be his 117th birthday.