James Mecer Langston Hughes: Literary Genius

1763 Words Jun 16th, 2018 8 Pages
Literary Genius
James Mercer Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. James Hughes and Carrie Langston are Hughes’ parents. They later divorced when Hughes was young. After his parents divorced he went to live with his grandmother until he turned thirteen years old. At thirteen years old he moved to Lincoln, Illinois. After living in Illinois he later moved to Cleveland, Ohio to live with his mother. When he moved to Cleveland he started writing poetry (“James Mercer…” par. 2). Langston had many influential poets that he looked up too such as Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman (“James Mercer…”par. 2). Langston Hughes, a gifted African-American poet, whose poetry was driven by blues, jazz, and other prominent ideas of the
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4). In the “Chicago Defender” Hughes introduced a character named Jesse B. Semple, who Hughes called “Simple”. Hughes made a comic column talking about the real-life situations that “Simple” went through on a daily basis (“James Mercer…”par. 4). The comic columns became a successful idea and lead to Hughes using the ideas from the comics for his books and plays (“James Mercer…”par.4).
Hughes had a controversy about his time in the Soviet Union and accused as a Communist. These accusations were brought by Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy forced Hughes to go to court and testify about his political views (Rampersad 1). “Hughes denied that he had ever been a party member but conceded that some of his radical verse had been ill-advised” (Rampersad 1). After this controversial incident Hughes’ career was not faulted. Soon after the incident Senator McCarthy was proven wrong and Hughes began to write about his time in the Soviet Union (Rampersad 1).
Hughes wrote many books such as “Not Without Laughter”. “Not Without Laughter” received a gold medal for literature in 1930. “Not Without Laughter”, a book created by Hughes, talks about characters such as Sandy, Jim Boy, and Angee. “Not Without Laughter” is a fictional book that talks about the characteristics and descriptions of many different people. This book represented Hughes’ family in a metaphorical way. The