Langston Hughes (James Mercer Langston Hughes)

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Joplin, Missouri, USA
The son of teacher Carrie Langston and James Nathaniel Hughes, James Mercer "Langston" Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri. His father abandoned the family and left for Cuba, then Mexico, due to enduring racism in the United States. Young Langston was left to be raised by his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas. After her death, he went to live with family friends. Due to an unstable early life, his childhood was not a happy one but it heavily influenced the poet he would become. Later, he lived again with his mother--who had remarried--in Lincoln, Illinois, and eventually in Cleveland, Ohio. Read more...