Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1901 in Joplin Missouri. Throughout his life, he published books of poetry, novels, plays, non-fiction works, and even children’s books. Today, we’re diving into two children’s books by Hughes: The First Book of Rhythms (1954) and Black Misery (1969).
The First Book of Rhythms was published in 1954 as part of the Franklin Watts First Book series for children.
Hughes explains all kinds of rhythms - of nature, music, words, athletics, in daily life, and furniture - accompanied by illustrations by Robin King.
Check out the “Rhythms in Daily Life” below!
Black Misery was published in 1969, two years after Hughes’ death. The book contains different definitions of “misery,” all of which are instances of racism experienced by Black children. These are paired with illustrations by (Lynette) Arouni, that (we think) perfectly express the devastating prose.