Literary Birthday – 1 February – Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was born 1 February 1902, and died 22 may 1967.


  1. Blues had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going.
  2. I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.
  3. To create a market for your writing you have to be consistent, professional, a continuing writer – not just a one-article or a one-story or a one-book man.
  4. I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face.
  5. An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.
  6. There is no colour line in death.
  7. Humour is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.
  8. If you want to honour me, give some young boy or girl who’s coming along trying to create arts and write and compose and sing and act and paint and dance and make something out of the beauties of the Negro race — give that child some help.
  9. I will not take ‘but’ for an answer.
  10. I am the American heartbreak? The rock on which Freedom Stumped its toe.
  11. Like a welcome summer rain, humour may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.
  12. I swear to the Lord, I still can’t see, Why Democracy means, Everybody but me.
  13. Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry. His works are available in The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes.

Source for image: By Carl Van Vechten; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:07, 5 August 2010 (UTC) – Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Onlince Collection, Public Domain,

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 1st February 2015