an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue."
Ancestry and Childhood
Both of Hughes' paternal and maternal great-grandmothers were African-American, his maternal great-grandfather was white and of Scottish descent. A paternal great-grandfather was of European Jewish descent. Hughes's maternal grandmother Mary Patterson was of African-American, French, English and Native American descent. One of the first women to ... more »
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- As I Grew Older
- Mother to Son
- I, Too
- April Rain Song
- Let America be America Again
- Children's Rhymes
- Dream Variations
- Suicide's Note
- The Negro Mother
- Life Is Fine
- Bad Morning
Quotationsmore quotations »
''I was so sick last night ILangston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet. Morning After (l. 1-6). . . Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. (1959) Vintage Books.
Didn't hardly know my mind.
So sick last night I
Didn't know my mind.
I drunk some bad licker that
Almost made me blind.''
''Way Down South in DixieLangston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet. Song for a Dark Girl (l. 1-4). . . Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. (1959) Vintage Books.
(Break the heart of me)
They hung my black young lover
To a cross roads tree.''
''Love is a naked shadowLangston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet. Song for a Dark Girl (l. 11-12). . . Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. (1959) Vintage Books.
On a gnarled and naked tree.''
''I swear to the LordLangston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet, author. The Black Man Speaks, Jim Crow's Last Stand (1943).
I still can't see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.''
''hereLangston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet. Theme for English B (l. 8-10). . . Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. (1959) Vintage Books.
to this college on the hill above Harlem
I am the only colored student in my class.''
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