James Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin Missouri. Hughes's parents divorced when he was a child and he lived with his grandmother giving Hughes his beginning in writing as a poet. She introduced him to stories of great African Americans such as Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. He lived with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas until he was thirteen years old, when she passed away. One of his greatest influences came from his grandmothers 2nd husband who was an abolitionist. Hughes had a very jumpy life. He attended Columbia University for a year, but however dropped out after deciding that it was not what he actually wanted for his life and wanted to travel the world. Later, he received a scholarship to Lincoln University and graduated after three years with a bachelor degree in 1929. Hughes also moved with his father in Mexico after graduating high school. They did not get along very well, partially for being possibly homosexual and since his father did not want him to be writer but something that was more reasonable as a career.
Hughes was one of the key African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance. His poetry was also greatly impacted by the Renaissance with his mixture of jazz and blues (African American music) in his poetry. Since the Renaissance was a time when African Americans were exposing their gifts and talents with music, writing poetry and more. Hughes inspiration in his writings came from sitting in jazz clubs, which made his thoughts flow.
James Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri. His mother was a school teacher, she also wrote poetry. His father, James Nathaniel Hughes, was a storekeeper. He had wanted to become a lawyer, but he had been denied to take the bar exam. Hughes's parents separated and his mother moved from city to city in search of work. In his rootless childhood, Hughes lived in Mexico, Topeka, Kansas, Colorado, Indiana and Buffalo. Part of his... [continues]
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