When Langston Hughes’s dad moved to Mexico when Langston was a child, he created the path to the poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” In 1920, while crossing the Mississipi River on a train on his way to Mexico to visit his dad, Langston was inspired to write the poem on the back of a letter. He had just finished high school.
In honor of Black History month, the inspiration gathered from world travel and Langston Hughes, whose poetry still inspires, here’s a short video of him talking about this trip and writing the poem. Plus, he reads it at the end. See what images of your own trips are conjured up. This is a lesson in always having a scrap of paper and a pen or a pencil with you when you travel.