8 quotes to celebrate Langston Hughes on his 113th birthday

Feb. 1, 2015 would have been the 113th birthday of Langston Hughes, the African-American jazz poet and social activist who became the leader of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.

Hughes is also the subject of Sunday’s Google Doodle, which kicks off the start of Black History Month this year.

In honor of the man whose work includes poetry, novels, essays, children’s books and political writings that spotlighted black life and culture, here are 8 quotes from life of Langston Hughes.

1. “Books -where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas”
– I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey, 1956

2. “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
-The Negro Speaks of Rivers, 1920

3. “Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”
-”April Rain Song”

4. “Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
– Montage of a Dream Deferred, 1951

5. “Ever’thing there is but lovin’ leaves a rust on yo’ soul. An’ to love sho ‘nough, you got to have a spot in yo’ heart fo’ ever’body – great an’ small, white an’ black, an’ them what’s good an’ them what’s evil – ‘cause love ain’t got no crowded-out places where de good ones stay an’ de bad ones can’t come in. When it gets that way, then it ain’t love.”
– Not Without Laughter, 1930

6. “7 x 7 + love = An amount Infinitely above: 7 x 7 – love.”
– The Collected Poems, 1995

7. “…the only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you’ll finish it,….”
– The Big Sea, 1940

8. “Frosting
Is just frosting
On somebody else’s
And so must be
Till we
Learn how to
– The Panther & the Lash, 1926

What are some of your favorite works by Langston Hughes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.