Joplin, Missouri is a city with a rich history. Located on historic Route 66, it is home to the Joplin Museum Complex, which features exhibits about mining and the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. Nearby, Shoal Creek cascades over the sweeping Grand Falls, while Wildcat Glades is a collection of protected chert clearings unique to the area. To the southeast lies the George Washington Carver National Monument, where visitors can take the Carver Trail to the 1881 Moses Carver House.
It was in Joplin that James Mercer Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902.Better known as Langston Hughes, he was an American writer who was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and made African-American experience the subject of his writings. His works ranged from poetry and plays to novels and newspaper columns.Langston Hughes was a singular voice in American poetry. He wrote with vivid images and jazz-influenced rhythms about the daily experience of blacks in the United States. In 1932, he published his first book for children, Popo and Fifina.
In the 1950s, he began regularly publishing books for children, including his First Book series which was designed to instill a sense of pride and respect for African-American culture in young readers. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel, was published in 1994.Hughes had a professional career that spanned from the 1920s to the 1960s. After his mother's death, he moved to Lincoln, Illinois to live with her mother and new husband. His parents had divorced soon after he was born, and his father had left for Mexico.
ProSeletters from Langston (University of California Press), 201 Selected Letters by Langston Hughes (Alfred A.Langston Hughes' life and legacy are still celebrated today. His works continue to inspire readers around the world with their vivid depictions of African-American life and culture. His books for children are still widely read and enjoyed by young readers everywhere. His influence on American literature is undeniable, and his works will continue to be studied for generations to come.