Street Scene - The NYMA Ramble


The story of Langston Hughes

By: Stefan Edmiston


 Was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin,


 Mother ’s name was Mercer Langston and father was James Nathaniel


 Father eventually left to Cuba, and then


 Mother was on the move so he was mainly raised his loving grandmother.


Langston Hughes was an amazing student.

At his time black people were not going to college. Hughes got accepted into

Columbia university.

Father wanted him to study engineering instead of writing or he would not support him.

He ended up leaving because of bigotry within the school.

Later received a scholarship to Lincoln


How he got into poetry

 Published his first book, The Weary

Blues , in 1926.

 Always knew he wanted to be a writer so when he got out of college he immediately followed his dreams.

 Knew that he was living in racist

America and couldn't help stop it with violence but wanted to make a difference with words.

“Black is beautiful”

 A theme he stressed throughout his life.

 A lot of his poetry was about hardworking black people in a racist


 Then again he spoke just as much about how it was a beautiful thing to be black, even in racist America.

 He gave a lot of people a reason to be proud.

How Much He Wrote

 He wrote 16 books of poems, two novels, three collections of short stories, four volumes of editorial and documentary fiction, 20 plays, children ’s poetry, musicals and operas, three autobiographies, 12 radio and television scripts, and dozens of magazine articles.

World War II

 Escaped military service

 However, heavily involved in politics

 Ended up writing in The Chicago Defender to encourage readers to support the allies


 Started out working with two men named Kurt Weill and Elmer Rice

 Developed a play together called Street


 Did a lot of theatre work with William

Gram Still, the first black composer in the United States to have a symphony performed by a major symphony orchestra in the Deep Sout.

Ending of his career

 Shared his knowledge in multiple colleges

 Also with a number of black culture research centers

 Shared so much of his time in Harlem preaching to kids about becoming the best you can be

 Some of his last poems were about believing in yourself and never letting anyone tell you that you can’t do something

His death

 Died on May 22, 1967

 Died in the place he loved most, Harlem

 Died in New York Polyclinic Hospital

 Remembered for his strong words and dedication to defending his people and always doing what's right


 urces/bhm/bio/hughes_l.htm

 ghes