Langston Hughes

February 1st, 1902 - May 22nd, 1967


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.


As a child in Joplin, Missouri, Mr. Hughes lived with his grandmother. His parents were divorced, and his father had left to Mexico to escape racism. After the death of his grandmother, he went to highschool. He was elected class poet. He wrote that his classes reasoning for electing him was because "Blacks have rhythm". It was there he wrote his first poems.

By 1925, Hughes' poems were being collected into his first poetry book. His poem Weary Blues won first place in Opportunity magazine in 1926. He received a scholarship from Lincoln University, where he met Carl Van Vechten, who helped him get his book published. It gained interest due to his jazz-esque poetry style and African American themes. His second book was published in 1927. After graduating, he released a novel, which earned him enough to convince him to become a writer. He died on May 22nd, 1967.