Although Langston Hughes was a key player of the Harlem Renaissance, he was greatly disliked and misunderstood by critics. He was born on February 1, 1902. His parents were divorced, and he was raised by his grandmother until age 13, when he moved in with his mother and stepfather. Throughout his life, he held many jobs, such as cook, busboy, and ship worker, and he traveled around the world. In particular, he went to Europe and North Africa. Throughout his whole life, Langston Hughes never got married. There are quite a few theories about that, mainly that he was gay or asexual. There are some alleged clues in some of his poems. He died of problems related to prostate cancer on May 22, 1967.
His main influences were Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman. Unlike other African-American contemporary poets such as Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, and Countee Cullen, Hughes identified with other African-Americans, rather than focusing on his personal struggles. He co-wrote a play with African-American authoress Zora Neale Hurston called Mule Bone and an autobiography called The Big Sea. His poems mainly focused on the common life of African-Americans, and on the hustle and bustle of his main residence, Harlem NY. Some of Hughes’ well-known poems include “A Dream Deferred”, “The Weary Blues”, “Fine Clothes to the Jew” and “Mother to Son”.
“Langston Hughes.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
“Langston Hughes.” Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 01 Aug. 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.