The Langston Hughes Medal is awarded annually to recognize an influential and engaging African-American writer. Established by the late Raymond R. Patterson, Professor Emeritus of English at the City College of New York (CCNY), the medal honors Langston Hughes' lifelong commitment to social change through works that reflect various cultures with roots in an African heritage. The award is given to a "literary work that has endeavored to engage, challenge and question their cultural milieu in the tradition of Langston Hughes."

In 1973, the late Raymond R. Patterson, Professor of English at the CCNY, founded the Langston Hughes Festival to celebrate Langston Hughes’s vision of himself as an African-American citizen-poet.