Langston Hughes was America?s Jazz Poet, the chronicler of life in Harlem in the 1920s. Setting out to write about black Americans, Hughes created a body of work-poetry, fiction, journalism, essays, plays, and song lyrics. While decrying racism and the inequities it created for blacks and other minorities, Hughes called for cooperation among all races. With one ear tuned in to the voices he heard on the street and the other to the music he heard in nightclubs, Hughes created poems that made him one of the stars of the Harlem Renaissance.
James Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, 1902, the only child of James and Carrie Hughes to survive infancy. Another son born two years earlier had died.
Carrie Hughes came from a family that had been prominent in the abolitionist movement. A lover of books and plays, she had once dreamed of becoming a professional actress. Instead, like so many black women of her time, she had to settle for the jobs she could find, working as a stenographer and a waitress.
James Hughes wasn?t able to pursue his professional goals. Hardworking and ambitious, he earned a
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