We celebrate Kansas-native poet and author Langston Hughes! Born on February 1, 1901, Hughes grew up in Lawrence before moving to New York City and becoming a key voice of the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes understood the perils of being black in a racist society layered upon the complexities of life itself. He responded by writing in diverse genres and styles, drawing on the rich culture of Black Americans, African Americans and the many voices of American democracy. His writing spanned the psychological and political to the lyrical, the tragic, and the humorous. His work crossed literary boundaries and sought to express a clearer, more memorable vision of the reality he experienced.
Listen to, read, and engage with some of our favorite prose from Langston Hughes.