Langston Hughes Biography | Author of Tambourines to Glory

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James Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His unusual middle name had been the birth name of his mother, a teacher. His father was a lawyer and businessman. Hughes grew up mainly in Lawrence, Kansas, a lonely child drawn to reading and writing. His first poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," was published in the June 1921 issue of the magazine Crisis, edited by the sociologist and political leader W. E. B. DuBois. It became one of Hughes's best-known and most anthologized poems.

After a year at Columbia University in New York, Hughes took simple jobs, traveled around the world, and continued to publish poems. He returned to the United States in 1924, already recognized as one of the most talented young African American poets in the movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes thrived in the atmosphere of Harlem, soaking up jazz and blues music, leftist...

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This section contains 395 words
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Tambourines to Glory from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.