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Langston Hughes is one of the best known, as well as one of the best-loved poets in America.

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Langston Hughes is one of the best known, as well as one of the best-loved poets in America because his verses are appealing to both the young and the old. The poetic phrases of Langston Hughes demonstrated feeling for his racial heritage and illustrated his perceptions of the African-American culture. The incredible and inspirational life of Langston Hughes as a poet, an essayist, and a member of the National Association of Advanced Colored People (NAACP) brought a new way of thinking to the African-American community. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902. His name given to him at birth was James Mercer Langston Hughes (Rollins 69). Hughes' parents had just married on April 30, 1899 in Guthrie, Oklahoma (Rampersad 10). His grandmother, Mary Sampson Leary Langston, cared for him the majority of his life (Richardson 115). Hughes' mother and father separated after his birth (Scott 51). His father James Nathaniel Hughes, moved to Mexico where he established his own private business. His mother, Carrie Mercer, left to attend University of Kansas. She felt like with such an education she would be entitled to more than the servile jobs given to majority African Americans (Rollins 69). ...read more.


When he completed hi education at Lincoln in 1929 he settled in New York. He also wrote his first novel, Not Without Laughter, that same year (Scott 55). Langston's desire to travel was instilled within him at an early age. He traveled back and forth between his mother, his father, and his grandmother (Scott 52). As a child his mother took him to see plays that came to town: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Buster Brown, Under Two Flags, and many other plays (Rollins 69). While visiting he father in Mexico he would tutor wealthy Mexican families who were unable to speak English. Hughes also enjoyed playing Jazz music in his spare time. In other available spare time Hughes wrote poems, novels, and many children books (Scott 53). Throughout his entire life, Hughes loved writing poetry and novels mainly. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1935, a Rosenwald Fellowship in 1941, an American Academy of Arts Award and Letters Grant in 1947, and the Ainsfield-Wolfe Award in 1953 (Rollins 73). In 1963 Hughes was honored with a second doctorate in Literature, conferred by Howard University. In 1964, Western Reserve University also gave Hughes a Literature Diploma (Rollins 74). ...read more.


Examples of his works are: Not Without Laughter (1930), a novel; The Ways of White Folks (1934), a collection of short stories; The Big Sea (1940), an autobiography; The Langston Hughes Reader (1958); and The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes which was published after his death in 1994 (Berry). At the end of Hughes' life during his illness he felt his greatest moments of anxiety. His limbs were locking, the bones, especially the ones in his left knee, were hurting terribly (Rampersad 130).Hughes was not suffering from influenza or any other similar ailment, as he told others. Hughes was suffering from gonorrhea. By this time the infection was in advanced stage. Hughes had picked up a venereal infection five or six weeks prior. Doctors tried giving Hughes sulfathiazole, a penicillin, but he showed little response. They also took him through a course sulfa pyridine and it brought no response so the doctors stopped this too. A painful catheter though his penis to drain the infection and allowed a gradual clearing of the discharge (Rampersad 134). Langston Hughes died of complications from prostate cancer on May 22, 1967, in New York. In his memory, his residence at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem, New York City, has been given landmark status by the New York Preservation Commission, and the East 127th Street was renamed " Langston Hughes Place" (McKay). ?? ?? ?? ?? Chandler ...read more.

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