Langston Hughes’ Harlem Home Is Officially For The People

A non-profit has reclaimed the space where the poet once lived.

By Rahel Gebreyes  / Editor, HuffPost /  02/03/2017 04:44 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago


Harlem artists and writers can finally call Langston Hughes’ home their own.

The I, Too, Arts Collective, named for Hughes’ poem “I, Too,” held an opening event Wednesday evening at Hughes’ Harlem brownstone and invited the community to mingle, have refreshments and check out its new space.

There was reason to celebrate. Not only was it Hughes’ birthday, but Wednesday marked the culmination of a months-long process to lease the home in which the poet lived for his final 20 years.

The brownstone first caught the eye of the collective’s founder and executive director Renee Watson when she moved to Harlem from Portland, Oregon more than a decade ago. She was disappointed to find out the home was neither a museum nor community center. In June 2016, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

“I was tired of waiting on someone to do something with this space,” Watson told The Huffington Post.