Langston Hughes was a well-known black poet during the Harlem Renaissance. His achievements include receiving critical acclaim for his first poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” winning several major literary awards for his poems, plays, short stories, and novels, founding theatres, teaching at universities, and contributing significantly to the Harlem Renaissance and shaping American literature.
On February 1, 1902, Langston Hughes was born. His first big poetry was published in a popular African-American magazine, “Crisis,” shortly after he graduated from high school in 1921. In 1925, he won first prize in a literary competition sponsored by another magazine for his poem “The Weary Blues.”
Hughes’ first book of poetry was published in 1926, and he was known for his use of black themes and jazz rhythms in his writing. He went on to write and publish several more successful poetry, drama, and short story collections.
His first novel, “Not Without Laughter,” earned him the Harmon gold prize for literature in 1930. Hughes received Guggenheim Fellowships in 1935 and 1941, as well as a Rosenwald Fellowship and an honorary doctorate of letters from Lincoln University in 1943.
Hughes became a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1946. In 1954, he won the Ansfield-Wolf Book Award, and in 1960, he received the Springarn Medal for outstanding achievement by a black American. Hughes also founded theatres in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and taught at Atlanta University and the University of Chicago. In 1967, he passed away.