Langston Hughes

15 Feb

I’m sure most of you have at least heard of, if not read the works of, today’s post subject – Langston Hughes.

You can check out an interactive (or text) timeline of his life at PBS. The site also offers four works from Cora Unashamed, two short stories, and a poem.

For a textual biography, check out this site (the photo also links there).

Hughes’ poems are available online here – have a favorite?

Need some critical pieces about the poet? Modern American Poetry offers up critiques on a number of different poems. They also provide a look at some book jackets and access to Hughes’ most well-known essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.”

Hughes made it on to a stamp as part of the USPS’ Black Heritage Stamp Series, which started in 1978.

The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival takes place every year at the, appropriately enough, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center in Seattle, WA. The festival takes place April 14-22 this year and they’re looking for submissions.

Your Lincoln Library has quite a few works to check out that are by and about the artist.

Last, but not least, here are two of his most famous (and on a personal note, two of my favorite) poems:

Harlem [Dream Deferred]

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?


I, Too

I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

One Response to “Langston Hughes”


  1. Lorraine Hansberry « LHS Writing Center - February 17, 2012

    […] Wednesday’s post subject Langston Hughes inspired today’s post subject Lorraine Hansberry? Can you guess why? […]

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