Do you like to write? Do you like to write poetry, short stories, or novels? How many famous authors can you think of? How many of those famous authors write poetry, novels, plays, and newspaper columns? One such author is Langston Hughes.
Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His full name was James Mercer Langston Hughes. His mother, Carrie Langston Hughes, was white, and his father, James Nathaniel Hughes, was black. His parents separated when he was young. His grandmother, Mary Langston, basically raised him until he was a teenager. He spent most of his childhood in Kansas.
When he was 13, Hughes began writing poetry. His mother remarried, and he lived with her in Illinois. He later lived in Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended high school and was the class poet. He loved reading and writing. In 1919, he graduated high school and went to Mexico to live with his father for a year. However, he was not happy there.
Hughes moved on to Columbia University to study engineering. He began to publish in The Crisis, a magazine of the NAACP. However, he only stayed at Columbia for a year. Money dried up. He moved to Harlem. He became a ship's steward in the Navy, and he traveled to Africa and Europe.
Money problems forced him home. He came back to the U.S. He worked briefly in a historian's office in Washington, D.C.