James Mercer Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and early innovator of the literary art form, jazz poetry. He was best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.
Hughes was a prolific African American writer and activist who was born in Joplin, Missouri. As one of the originators of the Harlem Renaissance, he led a period of incredible artistic work within the Black community of Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s. Hughes is known for his portrayals of Black life in the United States, and for his outspoken advocacy for accurate portrayals of Black people within media. In addition to being a poet, he also wrote plays, short stories, and essays, co-writing with the likes of Zora Neale Hurston and publishing a huge body of literature.
Poetry: I, Too: https://poets.org/poem/i-too
Let America Be America Again: https://poets.org/poem/let-america-be-america-again
Dream Variations: https://poets.org/poem/dream-variations
[Photo: Langston Hughes portrait by Winold Reiss, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution]