Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

Langston Hughes
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Hughes was 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... more »

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  • ''I was so sick last night I
    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.''
    Langston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet. Morning After (l. 1-6). . . Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. (1959) Vintage Books.
  • ''Way Down South in Dixie
    (Break the heart of me)
    They hung my black young lover
    To a cross roads tree.''
    Langston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet. Song for a Dark Girl (l. 1-4). . . Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. (1959) Vintage Books.
  • ''Love is a naked shadow
    On a gnarled and naked tree.''
    Langston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet. Song for a Dark Girl (l. 11-12). . . Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. (1959) Vintage Books.
  • ''I swear to the Lord
    I still can't see
    Why Democracy means
    Everybody but me.''
    Langston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet, author. The Black Man Speaks, Jim Crow's Last Stand (1943).
  • ''here
    to this college on the hill above Harlem
    I am the only colored student in my class.''
    Langston Hughes (1902-1967), U.S. poet. Theme for English B (l. 8-10). . . Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. (1959) Vintage Books.
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Comments about Langston Hughes

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  • Nimesh Ghorpade (7/24/2018 6:26:00 AM)

    Very nice

  • Asiya (7/3/2018 9:22:00 AM)

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  • muneem (7/1/2018 7:33:00 PM)

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  • muneem (7/1/2018 7:32:00 PM)


  • Shelly Sheilah (6/18/2018 4:56:00 PM)

    I love it so much

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  • Hiiiiiiiiiii (5/29/2018 9:11:00 AM)

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  • James Storm (5/20/2018 11:59:00 AM)

    Zach Swistak - If you're a better writer than Langston Hughes, why did you write then instead of than?

Read all 137 comments »
Best Poem of Langston Hughes


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Read the full of Dreams
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