Happy Birthday, Langston!

Photo by Gordon Parks

James Mercer Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902 in Joplin, MO. The famed poet, novelist, playwright, and essayist spent part of his childhood right here in Lawrence, KS. A new short film produced by KU Professor Madison Davis Lacy looks at Langston’s time here in Lawrence and how it helped to shape the trajectory of his renowned career.

You can read more about Langston’s Lawrence here. There will also be an awards ceremony and screening of the short film tonight at the Lawrence Arts Center starting at 7pm, followed by a panel with Hughes scholars Randal Jelks, John Edgar Tidwell, and others.

Langston’s Lawrence is part of a larger two-part documentary project: “I, Too, Sing America”: Langston Hughes Unfurled presented by the Dream Documentary Collective.


Courtesy of blackpast.org

As we celebrate what would have been his 115th birthday and look ahead to some of the forthcoming work documenting his life, we are also looking back at some of our favorite HBW Langston Hughes posts:

Black Literary Suite 2015: Kansas Authors Edition

“They’ve Done Taken My Blues and Gone:” Listening to Langston Hughes: a New Year’s Resolution

Ask Your Mama: Langston Hughes and Afrofuturism

Ann Petry and Langston Hughes: Representations of Black Motherhood

If you are interested in learning more, please check out the Langston Hughes Center at the University of Kansas.

Courtesy of JMW