Langston Hughes Essay

Good Essays

Few poets in the twentieth century, and perhaps even in any century, can be compared to Langston Hughes. Hughes wrote with his heart and soul, creating poems that everyone could understand. He expressed love for all races, colors, and religions and did not judge anybody until he had reason to judge them. He wrote to entertain, to inspire, to teach, and to make a point. His way with words made him the most popular and prolific black writer of the twentieth century (Offinoski, 32). Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902. He was born into a black family of abolitionists and his parents were both bookkeepers. When Hughes was young his parents separated, causing his father to move to Mexico and his mother to leave him for …show more content…

It?s a poem full of history and shows the depths of the roots of African Americans. Hughes uses a great amount of symbolism in this poem. For example, he uses rivers to represent the linkage between the earliest peoples and today?s peoples all over the world. When he pens ?I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans? he is talking about the emancipation of slaves and the Mississippi symbolizes the blood of all races combined. In this poem, he uses himself to represent people of African civilizations, which is why he writes not once, but twice: ?My soul has grown deep like the rivers.? Another well-known poem by Hughes is ?Negro.? He wrote this poem after a trip to Africa and feeling a connection with the blacks there. Like ?The Negro Speaks of Rivers?, this poem is also historic and explains in depth the history of Africans. ?Negro? starts out with ?I am a Negro/ Black as the night is black,/ Black like the depths of my Africa.? From there, in each verse, Hughes names a different civilization or group of people that have enslaved the blacks. He writes about how the blacks have been forced to build, work, and suffer throughout their whole existence. ?Hughes uses many allusions in this poem, alluding to Julius Caeser, George Washington, and the Woolworth Building

Get Access