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Langston Hughes Primary Sources

Historical documents. What clues can you gather about Langston Hughes, the time, place, players, and culture?

The Weary Blues

Poems from Langston Hughes's book The Weary Blues.

"A Dream Deferred"

This poem is also known as "Harlem." You might recognize the opening line, "What happens to a dream deferred?"

"The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain"

Hughes's noteworthy 1926 essay.

"The Blues I'm Playing"

A short story by Hughes.

"The Night Funeral in Harlem"

A Hughes poem.

"Let America Be America Again"

Hughes's poem, written in 1938 and first published in Esquire.

Hughes on Scottsboro

A series of poems Hughes wrote about the trial of the Scottsboro Boys of Alabama.


Hughes's 1967 obituary in The New York Times.

Spanish Civil War Broadside

An image of one of Hughes's dispatches from the Spanish Civil War.

Langston Hughes on the IRT

This great story about commuters' reaction to Hughes's poem "Luck," which was posted on the New York subway, highlights the many different emotions a poem can evoke.

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