Langston Hughes Biography  

Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Mississippi on February 1, 1902. He was the second child born to Mercer Langston, who was a school teacher, and James Hughes. His parents were from mixed races, and Langston had a mixed blood of African American, European American and Native American lineages. He lived in several places in his childhood as his family moved around a lot. His paternal grandmother was African American, while his paternal great grandfathers’ were Scottish and Jewish descent.

Hughes got named after his father and great uncle John Mercer Langston. Hughes father left the family and subsequently divorced his mother. He moved to Cuba and Mexico after that. He did it so could he escape the racist culture in the US and its effects on him.

After his parents separated, his mother traveled in search of a job. Langston was brought up by his maternal grandmother in the mean time in Kansas. Due to the prevalent racism in those times, his grandmother instilled a strong pride of African race and culture in him. After his grandmother’s death, Langston moved to their family friend’s home in Kansas. Later, he lived again with his mother in Illinois.

He joined Columbia University to pursue a degree in engineering, but left mid way as there was racism in the university.

Langston always said that he was a casualty of racism in many counts, and even in his poetry he used these phrases. As a school student, he wrote for the school newspaper and also wrote short stories. They were received well in his school. One of his first works was jazz poetry. It is during this time he discovered that he loved books and decided to become writer.

Langston Hughes died on 22 May 1967 in New York.

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Langston Hughes Biography




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Langston-Hughes-Family-Life      Langston Hughes was unique through his family as he was from a mixed race. He had Scottish, Jewish, European American and African American blood lines. His mixed ancestry always left him confused about racism, but he strongly disapproved of it. However, he always thought of himself as an African American. His father could never come to terms with it and he left their family when Langston was very small. More..




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