James Langston Hughes (1902 -- 1967) With a career that spanned the Harlem Renaissance of the twenties and Black Arts movement of the sixties, Langston Hughes was the most prolific Black poet of his era. Between 1926, when he published his pioneering "The Weary Blues," to 1967, the year of his death, when he published" The Panther and the Lash," Hughes would write sixteen books of poems, two novels, seven collections of short stories, two autobiographies, five works of nonfiction, and nine children's books; he would edit nine anthologies of poetry, folklore, short fiction, and humor. He also translated Jaques Roumain, NicolAs GuillEn, Gabriela Mistral, Federico Garcia Lorca, and write at least thirty plays. It is not surprising that Hughes was known, variously, as "Shakespeare in Harlem" and as the "poet laureate of the American Negro." -- from the Preface by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.