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James Langston Hughes was one of the most remarkable people in the world of Harlem and one of the most influential people during the 1920s He is an American poet as well as an author of all fields of literature such as drama childrens literature and journalism He was born in Missouri in the tiny town of Joplin His parents James Nathaniel and Carrie Mercer were divorced shortly after his birth on February 1 1902 Hughes father moved out of the country and settled down in Mexico where he became a wealthy landowner as well as an attorney Hughes stayed with his mother in the United States but had a miserable life His mother had an on and off life She went from one job to another job never having any time to spend with the young Langston Growing up Hughes was taken care by his maternal grandmother until her death in 1910 He was then passed on to good friends of the family where they each took turns keeping after him each series of days until 1914 In 1914 Hughes moved to Cleveland Ohio with his mother to live with his new stepfather Homer Clark He attended the local school Central High School where he achieved good marks in his academics Hughes school became a n escape for him from the problems at home His mother and stepfather were always fighting He became involved with many extracurricular activities such as being editor of his class newspaper and taking part in the arts program at a neighborhood community center After graduation with honors Hughes did not go to college immediately He decided to go to Mexico to be with his biological father In 1919 prior to graduation from high school Hughes received a letter from James Hughes asking Langston to visit him in Mexico Hughes immediately agreed to this request despite his mothers pleas In Mexico Hughes taught English for a year
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