Langston had a lonely childhood due to his mother moving
place to place to find a job and while living with his grandma, he had no one to relate to. Father and mother separated shortly
after Langston’s birth and so Mother and Langston moved back to Lawrence, Kansas with his grandma Carrie Mercer Langston.
At the age of five or six, mother and child lived with his father in Mexico but things didn’t quite work out, and so
the two moved back to Lawrence. Mother soon left Langston with his grandma in search for a job. Langston had lived with his
grandma until he was around the age of 12 when she died and stayed with James and Mary Reed until he was 13 which he then
moved in with his mom and step-dad Homer Clarke. His father neglected his interest and study in writing and though that it
was a waste of time and effort. After finishing high school, his father wanted him to visit him down in Mexico. He then asked
for his dad to pay for college tuition, but it was only to study under engineering. Later upon his ride back up north, he
wrote “The Nigger Speaks of Rivers” which was published in Crisis magazine.
Langston graduated Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1920. After his graduation, he would visit his dad in
Mexico to ask for his support for college. His father disliked him studying in writing and would only support Langston only
if he was studying engineering. Upon returning, he would write one of his most famous poems, “The Nigger Speaks of The
Rivers” that was published in the Crisis magazine.
After one year at Columbia University, he ended dropping out of this profession and boarded a steamship to the Western
Africa. Onboard, he would work as a steward; this was his only way of traveling since he wasn’t financially stable at
the time. He traveled to mostly in Africa and Paris by working as clubs, washing dishes, cafés and restaurants.
Upon his return in 1925, he was welcomed back by many blacks due to his poems. Eventually he moved to Washington D.C.
since his mom wanted him next to her side. He then worked as a busboy at Wardman Park Hotel and there he met Vachel Lindsey
whom would be the one to help him jumpstart his career. Upon dropping his pomes to Lindsey, Lindsey read them and was impressed.
Later on in life Langston would be known as “Poet Laureate of the Negro Race” which he embraced the name from
many blacks wanting to be called poets, not black poets.
In 1926, he attended Lincoln University and there he’d graduate with a B.A. Degree in 1929. Langston later published
his first novel, Not Without Laughter. Three years after graduating, he was hired
by the Soviet government to be a motion picture writer. Fine Cloths to The Jew
was then published in 1937.
In 1953, Langston was forced to appear at the House of Un-American Activities but was not found guilty.
On May 22, Langston Hughes died from a abdomen surgery. He was later cremated and set beneath the floor medallion in
the middle of the foyer that leads to the auditorium of the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Harlem.