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Transcript of Langston Hughes
Though born in Joplin, Missouri, he lived in Detroit and Cleveland growing up.
He started writing poetry in high school.
Hughes attended Columbia University in 1920 for one year, but soon after worked as a seaman, at a nightclub in Paris, and as a busboy in D.C., all the while writing and publishing poetry.
He became involved in Communist Party in 1930s, which lead to him being listed as a security risk by the FBI in 1953.
Hughes wrote of modern, urban black life.
He modeled his stanzas on the improvisatory rhythms of jazz music and adapted the vocabulary of everyday black speech to poetry.
Hughes' poems demanded that African Americans be acknowledged as owners of the culture they gave to the United States.
Hughes died from surgical complications relating to his prostate cancer.
His ashes are buried beneath this tile mosaic in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY.
In the 1920s, Harlem experienced monumental changes culturally, socially, and artistically.
Hughes is one of the most popular and versatile of writers associated with the Harlem Renaissance.
Introduction to Hughes
-By the time of his death, Hughes had become one of the most important writers in American history and had influenced a new generation of black writers.
-Hughes is widely regarded as “the Bard of Harlem” for vividly capturing the literary ethos and artistic spirit of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s.
-He remains perhaps the most widely read black poet, a “poet of the people,” as his words articulated the hopes, fears, dreams, struggles and aspirations of an entire nation during most of the twentieth century.