NATIONSPRODUCTS.COM ~ Independent Online Family Book Store- Hundreds of Books by Black Authors

Who Was Langston Hughes?

Read Time: 5 Minutes
According to Encyclopedia Britannica Langston Hughes "was an American writer who was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and made the Black  experience the subject of his writings, which ranged from poetry and plays to novels and newspaper columns" ("Langston Hughes",  2024).

Also, ("Langston Hughes", 2024), states "he was born in 1902. His parents separated soon after his birth, and he was raised by his mother and grandmother. After his grandmother’s death, he and his mother moved to half a dozen cities before reaching Cleveland, where they settled".

He wrote the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” the summer after his graduation from high school in Cleveland; it was published in The Crisis in 1921 and brought him considerable attention. 
Here is Hughes', The Negro Speaks of Rivers, poem below: 
I've known rivers:

I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
     flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
     went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
     bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers. (, 1994)


"Hughes received a scholarship, and began attending, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in early 1926. That same year, he received the Witter Bynner Undergraduate Poetry Award, He received his degree in 1929, he had helped launch the influential magazine Fire!!!  in 1926, and he had also published a second collection of poetry, Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927), which was criticized by some for its title and for its frankness, though Hughes himself felt that it represented another step forward in his writing" ("Langston Huges",  2024).

To add Langston Hughes' book to your home library to read more of his  poems, get a copy of his book, The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics).

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2024). Langston Huges. The Negro Speaks of Rivers.

Leave a comment