Very few writers have had the influence or importance of Langston Hughes (1902?-1967). Best known for poems like “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “I, Too,” and “The Weary Blues,” Hughes was also a widely read novelist, short story writer, and essayist – and his promotion of Black people and culture became central to the cultural explosion known as the Harlem Renaissance. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at Hughes’s early years, including his childhood, adolescence, and the poems Hughes wrote in his teens and twenties, as he forged his identity as a writer in the face of often intense criticism.
Additional listening suggestions:
- Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes (with Yuval Taylor)
- 88 The Harlem Renaissance
- 94 Smoke, Dusk, and Fire – The Jean Toomer Story
- 310 Lorraine Hansberry
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