Langston Hughes Timeline

A look at a Langston Hughes timeline provides insight into the events that shaped the life of one of the most influential poets of the 20th century, including the highlights, awards and accolades of his remarkable career.

1902-Langston Hughes is born James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri.
1903-Hughes' parents separate.
1907-After living with different friends and family members, Hughes moves in with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas.
1915-Hughes joins his mother in Lincoln, Illinois.
1915-1920-Hughes attended high school in Illinois, then Cleveland, Ohio, where he graduated.
1921-Hughes returns to the US after spending a year in Mexico living with his father. Columbia University accepts Hughes into the engineering program, but he drops out.
1922-Hughes' poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is published after engaging with a writer's group in Harlem.
1924-Hughes travels to France, The Netherlands and throughout Africa.
1925-He enrolls at Lincoln University and lives with his mother in Washington, D.C.
1925-1929-Hughes publishes several poetry books-The Weary Blues and Fine Clothes to a Jew-during his college years.
1929-He earns a B.A. from Lincoln University and wins several poetry contests and prizes.
1930-Not Without Laugher, Hughes' first novel, is published, plus other short stories, poems and a play called Mule Bone.
1932-Hughes travels to the Soviet Union to take part in a film project.
1934-A collection of short stories, The Ways of White Folks, is published.
1935-Hughes receives the Guggenheim Fellowship to finance writing a novel.
1937-Hughes works in Spain as a correspondent for some African American newspapers.
1941-The Big Sea, Hughes' first autobiography is published.
1941-Hughes establishes a stage theater troupe in Los Angeles.
1943-Hughes starts writing his "Semple" columns for The Chicago Defender.
1950-The first volume of "Simple" stories is published, called Simple Speaks His Mind.
1956-Hughes' second autobiography, I Wonder as I Wander, is published.
1960-Hughes is awarded the Spingarn Medal for his achievements.
1961-Hughes became a member of the distinguished National Institute of Arts and Letters.
1967-Langston Hughes dies from complications of prostate cancer in New York.

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The poetry of Langston Hughes became the voice for a generation of African Americans. As one of the most prominent black poets in America, Hughes highlighted black humor, love, pride, hardships, struggles and racial issues.

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