A source writes that author, poet and Harlemite, Langston the “Poet-Laureate of Harlem” Hughes in the picture is taken on 20 East 127th Street at the “Our Blocks Children Garden,” comes from a book about Hughes’ life.
The story from Michael Levenston in City Farmer goes:
But most of the patch of earth beside the front steps, about six feet square, was barren from years of trampling by neighbourhood children, who had little time for flowers. Langston decided to rescue it, and teach the children a tender lesson at the same time. He named the plot their garden.
Under his supervision…each child chose a plant, set it, and assumed partial responsibility for weeding and watering the garden. On a picket beside each plant was posted a child’s name. Proud of the garden, which flourished, and prouder still of his children, Langston was photographed at least once beaming in their midst.
The Langston Hughes House, a rowhouse which is 20 feet wide and 45 feet deep, three stories high above a basement and faced with brownstone. It occupies an East Harlem block with similar rowhouses. Built in 1869, the house was designed in the Italianate style by architect Alexander Wilson, typical of rowhouses built in Harlem during the period shortly after the Civil War. The Langston Hughes House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on October 29, 1982.
Langston Hughes died in 1976.
Photo credit: Langston Hughes with neighborhood children in a Harlem garden. Photo by Don Hunstein, 1955.