Langston Hughes Biography | Author of The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1902, and spent much of his youth in Kansas and Illinois. Though he wrote poetry from an early age—"The Negro Speaks of Rivers" was published while still in his teens—he attended Columbia University to study engineering. He was successful in school, but dropped out and spent several years in Europe.

Hughes returned to the United States in 1924, continuing his career as a poet and a novelist. His first full-length book, a collection of poetry titled The Weary Blues, was published in 1926. He quickly became one of the artists most associated with the Harlem Renaissance, a period of great productivity among African American writers of the 1920s and 1930s, and his works often focus on capturing the black experience in urban America. However, many of Hughes's works reach beyond race: they...

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This section contains 904 words
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Buy The Negro Speaks of Rivers Study Guide
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