Langston Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a flourishing of black intellectual, literary and artistic life that took place in the 1920s in several American cities, particularly in Harlem. Born in Joplin, Missouri in 1901, Hughes was the grandson of Mary Patterson Leary, an activist who instilled in him a lasting sense of racial pride. He was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist who expressed the mind and spirit of most African Americans for nearly half a century. Hughes died on May 22nd, 196 due to complications from prostate cancer.
His residence at number 20 East 127th Street in Harlem has been granted a historic site by the New York City Preservation Commission and East 127th Street has been renamed Langston Hughes Place. In Looking for Langston (198), British filmmaker Isaac Julien stated that he was a black gay icon, Julien thought that Hughes' sexuality had been historically ignored or minimized. In 1931, Prentiss Taylor and Langston Hughes created Golden Stair Press, which published portfolios and books with works of art by Prentiss Taylor and texts by Langston Hughes. The Pittsburgh Courier published a great headline at the top of the page, LANGSTON HUGHES'S BOOK OF TRASH POEMS. In February 2002, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Hughes's birth, the University of Kansas organized a symposium that included the participation of artists, academics, teachers, poets and other events related to the celebration and understanding of Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes set a tone and standard of brotherhood, friendship and cooperation that we must all follow.
His legacy lives on through his works of art and literature that continue to inspire generations today.