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Many New York City public schools are named in honor of prominent figures in American and world history.

Langston Hughes Public School 134, in Queens, inadvertently honors an LGBT individual.

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Credit: Google Maps.

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History

Many New York City public schools are named in honor of prominent figures in American and world history. The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project compiled a list of the 25 public schools named after gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals, although only one — Harvey Milk High School — intentionally honors an LGBT individual. This list includes Langston Hughes Public School 134, in Queens, which opened in 1930 and was likely renamed for Hughes in 1967.

African-American poet and writer Langston Hughes (1901-1967) was one of the foremost figures of the Harlem Renaissance, which promoted Black art and culture. His lifelong fascination with Harlem is evident in much of his writing, which often features the neighborhood and the people he encountered there. He would later be referred to as the “Poet Laureate of Harlem.” Though private about his personal life, he is generally believed to have been gay. He was an active participant in the gay social circles of the Harlem Renaissance and included homosexual subtext in his writing.

Hughes is associated with several sites in Harlem featured on this website, including his residence, the Harlem YMCA, the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library, and Gumby Book Studio.

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