Hughes And The Harlem Renaissance

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"Negro life is seizing its first chances for group expression and self-determination." This quote comes from a highly acclaimed critic and teacher Alain Locke. The Harlem Renaissance, or the "New Negro Movement," was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity in the 1920's to the mid-1930s ( Harlem was the Mecca for black writers, musicians, poets, and scholars. The Harlem Renaissance included visual arts, but excluded jazz, even though it have similarity as a black art form. The combination of whites prejudice and the exotic world of Harlem sought out and published black writers. Since much of the literature focuses on realistic black life, conservative black’s critics feared that…show more content…
His mother moved to Michigan, and his father moved to Mexico to escape the discrimination the South offered to African-Americans. Hughes attended Columbia University in 1920, but only completed one year. He worked various jobs as a merchant seaman, night club in Paris, and a busboy in Washington D.C. Hughes also covered the Spanish-American War and was part of the American Communist party. In one of Hughes's essay titled, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain," he outlined his philosophy on the Harlem Renaissance and saw the problems ahead of black artists: "One of the most promising of the young Negro Poet," meaning, I believe, "I want to write like a white poet," meaning subconsciously, "I would like to be a white poet;" meaning behind that, "I would like to be white." And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has never been afraid of being himself." ( the quote itself sums up what African-Americans artists have to face during this time. Whites dominated the literary industry and black artists had a chance to overcome the adversity, but knowing the consequences and timid to be themselves, ultimately led to the Harlem Renaissance and the upcoming poet, Langston
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