About the poet:
Born: February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri
Died: May 22, 1967 in New York City, New York
Hughes was many things, a columnist, social activist, playwright, novelist and American poet. He was one of the earliest poets to write jazz poetry.
As a child he was forced to move around a lot. After his father divorced his mother he moved in with his grandparents who taught him a lot about racial pride. After his grandparents died he moved in with family friends. All of this instability is evident in his writing.
Hughes worked as a historian and had many jobs but found that it limited his time to write. He became a busboy and through that job met poet Vachel Lindsay, who liked his poetry and helped publicize his work by publishing his writing is magazines and collecting his first book of poetry.
Hughes ended up living most of his life in Harlem.