Famous Black writer, poet and
|Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
With the month of February being Black History Month, it seems appropriate that February 1st is the birthday of writer, poet and columnist Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Born in Joplin, Missouri, he attended Columbia University, but decided that he wanted to learn from traveling instead of books.
After traveling to West Africa and Europe he moved back to the United States, and was one of the pivotal voices in the Harlem Renaissance. He was known as the Poet laureate of the negro race, and was one of the first African-American poets to embrace the language of working-class black Americans.
Hughes’ words give voice to the struggles of African-Americans for pride, equality, and justice:
“Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.”
“My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
“Rest at pale evening…a tall slim tree…night coming tenderly Black like me.”
“Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.”
“I will not take ‘but’ for an answer.”
“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun?…or does it explode?”
The Rochester Public Library has an extensive collection of works by Hughes. Take a moment to stop in and check them out!