Langston Hughes

Personal Information
Langston Hughes was born in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. By the time Hughes enrolled at Columbia University in New York, he had already launched his literary career with his poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” in the Crisis. He traveled abroad; worked on a freighter down the west coast of Africa and lived for several months in Paris before returning to the United States late in 1924. By this time, he was well known in African American literary circles as a gifted young poet. His poetry collections include: The Weary Blues (1926), Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951) and The Panther and the Lash (1967). His devotion to black music led him to novel fusions of jazz and blues with traditional verse in his first two books, The Weary Blues (1926) and Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927). After his play Mulatto opened on Broadway in 1935, Hughes wrote other plays, including Little Ham (1936), Emperor of Haiti (1936) and Don't You Want to Be Free?(1938). His first volume of autobiography, The Big Sea, was published in 1940. During this time he also published his book of verse Shakespeare in Harlem (1942) and Jim Crow’s Last Stand (1943), among other works. The 1960s saw Hughes as productive as ever. In 1962 his ambitious book-length poem Ask Your Mama, appeared. Hughes's work was not as universally acclaimed as before in the black community. Although he was hailed in 1966 as a historic artistic figure at the First World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal, he also found himself increasingly rejected by young black militants at home as the civil rights movement lurched toward Black Power. His last book was the volume of verse, posthumously published, The Panther and the Lash (1967), mainly about civil rights. He died in May that year in New York City. He was perhaps the most original of African American poets and, in the breadth and variety of his work, assuredly the most representative of African American writers.
Playwrights' Sidewalk: Langston Hughes has a star on the Playwrights' Sidewalk.

Production Theatre Opened Credit
1 Black Nativity The Duke on 42nd Street 11/30/2007 Playwright
2 Here Lies Jenny Zipper Theatre 05/27/2004 Lyricist
3 Little Ham John Houseman Theatre 09/26/2002 Original Author
4 Berlin to Broadway Triad Theater 08/19/2000 Lyricist
5 Fixed Theatre of the Riverside Church 11/26/1977 Additional Lyrics
6 The Exception and the Rule / The Prodigal Son Greenwich Mews Theatre 05/20/1965 Playwright
7 Black Nativity Forty-first Street Theatre 12/11/1961 Playwright
8 Shakespeare in Harlem Lucille Lortel Theatre 10/27/1959 Playwright
9 Soul Gone Home Lucille Lortel Theatre 10/27/1959 Playwright
10 Simply Heavenly Renata Theatre 11/08/1957 Playwright
11 Simply Heavenly Renata Theatre 11/08/1957 Lyricist
12 Simply Heavenly 85th Street Playhouse 05/21/1957 Playwright
13 Simply Heavenly 85th Street Playhouse 05/21/1957 Lyricist