Langston Hughes Trenton Oaks block 7

Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin Missouri. He grew up with his grandmother until she died in his early teens then went to live with his mother, they moved around to several different cities until settling in Cleveland, Ohio. Around this time, Hughes began to get into writing poetry by being involved in his school by writing poetry for the school`s literary magazine as well as submitting to other literary magazines, but was rejected from them. A teacher of his had introduced him to poetry by Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, which he would later go on to say were some of his main influences. He eventually graduated in 1920 and spent a year in Mexico with his father and around that time he made a poem that was published in the Crisis magazine called “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” He later returned to the United States in 1921 and enrolled in Columbia but only stayed for a year until dropping out in 1922 and working odd jobs around New York. He then moved to Paris for a few months in 1924 and continued to write poetry and in November of that year moved back to the U.S. His poetry began to catch the attention of Carl Van Vechten who used connections that he had to get Hughes his first book of poetry published in 1926, it was called “The Weary Blues.” He graduated in 1929 then went on to publish his first novel called, “Not Without Laughter”, due to the success of the book he was able to continue life making a living as a writer. He continued his life as a poet creating short stories, other poems, and even contributed to some lyrics in a broadway musical. He eventually died on May 22, 1967 due to prostate cancer, even after he was gone, his legacy and his messages about racial issues will always influence others.

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