February 1, 1902 in Joplin Missouri James Mercer Langston was born to Carrie Langston and James Hughes. Carrie was fascinated in literary. James was hardworking despite his numerous frustrations. After being denied the privilege of taking the Oklahoma bar exam because it was an all white exam. James moved to Mexico in 1903. Langston spent most of his childhood living with Mary Leary his grandmother. Mary was a widower of Lewis Sheridan Leary a raider of Harpers Ferry. Mary intrigued by politics, once taking Langston to hear Booker T. Washington. In 1914 Langston was moved to Lincoln, Illinois, where his mother got remarried. Soon after Langston was moved to Cleveland, Ohio while attending four years of high school. While in high school a teacher, Ethel Weimer introduced him to the work of ” Chicago School ” of poetry. After graduation Langston initiated visits his father in 1918 in Mexico. During his visit Langston felt apprehensive that he could not meet his father high hopes for his future. During this time Langston wrote, ” The Negro speaks of rivers.” I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the Flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln Went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy Bosom turn all golden in the sunset. I’ve known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. Moving to New York in 1921, he enrolled to Columbia University. As an African American the dorm rooms had no place a colored student. In 1925 working as a busboy in wardman hotel in Washington D.C. Hughes sneaked three poems to vachel Lindsay, vachel was famously known for public reading and performance of p…
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