Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)


African-American poet and writer, born in Joplin, Missouri, who became one of the foremost interpreters of racial realtionships in the United States. He was also one of the first black authors who could support himself by his writings. Langston Hughes graduated from highs school in Cleveland and published his first poem in African-American journal Crisis (1921). He studied at Columbia University from 1921 to 22 and worked then as a steward on a freighter bound for Africa. After return to the United States Hughes worked in menial jobs and continued writing poems, which earned him scholarship to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Hughes received his degree in 1929 and traveled widely in the 1930s in the Soviet Union, Haiti and Japan. In the Spanish Civil War (1937) he served as newspaper correspondent. Hughes has also written numerous works for the stage, including lyrics for Kurt Weill's opera Street Scene, and translated the poetry of Federico García Lorca and Gabriela Mistral. His popular comic character Jesse B. Semple appeared in Hughes's columns in the Chicago Defender and the New York Post.



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