There are countless times as one grows up when you just stop for a second and reminisce on random things. These memories serve for a very special purpose as the things you do in life shapes you into the person you will become. Today, many authors and poets make use of their memories and experiences in their work as a way to reflect back on their lives, raise awareness, or just simply to tell a story. As a prominent contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes was an inspirational poet who highlighted many aspects of the urban life of African-Americans through reflections of his own life and experiences. As a writer, a poet and a prominent activist of the civil rights movement, Langston Hughes was a man that was not only …show more content…
Through this mindset, Hughes set out to revolutionize poetry and created such expressive and inspirational work just by reflecting on his own life. He also takes into account with the existing racism at this time that was against him and anyone of color. By incorporating his life into his work, it created a voice for those who were not able to speak up and as a result, life met art (The Harlem Project).
Throughout his works, especially his poetry, Hughes also draws inspiration from music. He describes the blues as ‘“sad funny songs – too sad to be funny and too funny to be sad”’ as the songs hold ‘“laughter and pain, hunger and heartache”’ (Poetry Criticism). This point of view is noticeably reflected onto his poems when some stanzas are in the “form of the typical blues song” (Poetry Criticism). In other words, the stanza had two nearly identical lines followed by a third that contrasts the first two and this is seen in Same in Blues where he uses the repetition of the word “baby” in the first two lines. In his poetry, Hughes captures the voices, experience, emotions and spirit of the African Americans during this time. His poems have also been influenced by the Afro-American life essays written by W.E.B. DuBois and the black vernacular (DiYanni p.700-705). This is shown in Fine Clothes to the Jew, as Hughes addresses the hardship and struggle of urban African Americans in Harlem who left the deep south in hopes of achieving their American Dream. However,
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Langston Hughes was one of the most important writers and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes creative intellect was influenced by his life in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. Hughes had a very strong sense of racial pride. Through his works he promoted racial equality and celebrated the African American culture. It was in Lincoln, Illinois that Hughes started to write his poetry. In November 1924, he moved to Washington D.C. where he published his first book of poetry. Hughes is known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America. Langston is also known for his commitment to jazz. Hughes refused to distinguish between his personal and common understandings of black America. He
The well known poet Langston Hughes was an inspiring character during the Harlem Renaissance to provide a push for the black communities to fight for the rights they deserved. Hughes wrote his poetry to deliver important messages and provide support to the movements. When he was at a young age a teacher introduced him to poets Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, and they inspired him to start his own. Being a “darker brother,” as he called blacks, he experienced and wanted his rights, and that inspired him. Although literary critics felt that Langston Hughes portrayed an unattractive view of black life, the poems demonstrate reality. Hughes used the Blues and Jazz to add effect to his work as well as his extravagant word use and literary
Langston Hughes was the leading voice of African American people in his time, speaking through his poetry to represent blacks. His Influence through his poems are seen widely not just by blacks but by those who enjoy poetry in other races and social classes. Hughes poems, Harlem, The Negro speaks of rivers, Theme for English B, and Negro are great examples of his output for the racial inequality between the blacks and whites. The relationship between whites and blacks are rooted in America's history for the good and the bad. Hughes poems bring the history at large and present them in a proud manner. The injustice that blacks face because of their history of once being in bondage is something they are constantly reminded and ridiculed for but must overcome and bring to light that the thoughts of slavery and inequality will be a lesson and something to remember for a different future where that kind of prejudice is not found so widely.
Langston Hughes was a poet with many artistic abilities. His writing and drawings established the lifestyles of many African Americans during this time. In a poem called “I, Too” Hughes express his feelings as an African American, a brother, and someone who deserves to fit in society. He states “I, too sing America” (1039). Hughes saw himself as an individual who has a voice in America even though his skin is a little darker. In a poem called “Democracy” Hughes states: “I have as much right as the other fellow has to stand on my own two feet and own the land” (1043). Hughes was speaking for every African American whom were still dealing with segregation, racism, and freedom.
At first, Hughes primarily focused on writing for a black urban audience; throughout time, he changed his focus to middle-class blacks, and then to the men and women of Harlem as “black masses”. Hughes ended up directing his writing to both whites and blacks of all classes. His basic philosophy, taken from the poem “I, too,” was as follows:
Langston Hughes clearly connects with a wide range of audiences through the simplicity that surrounds his poetry. The beauty of this manner in which he wrote his poetry, is that it grasp people by illustrating his narratives of the common lifestyles experienced by the current American generation. His art form expresses certain questionable ideologies of life and exposes to the audience what it takes to fully comprehend what being an American truly means. Each individual poem describes and illustrates the strength and hardships the African American community was experiencing. Through his literature art form of poetry, Hughes was able to convey the common assertions of
Langston Hughes was a successful African-American poet of the Harlem renaissance in the 20th century. Hughes' had a simple and cultured writing style. "Harlem" is filled with rhythm, jazz, blues, imagery, and evokes vivid images within the mind. The poem focuses on what could happen to deferred dreams. Hughes' aim is to make it clear that if you postpone your dreams you might not get another chance to attain it--so take those dreams and run. Each question associates with negative effects of deferred dreams. The imagery from the poem causes the reader to be pulled in by the writer's words.
Langston Hughes is an extremely successful and well known black writer who emerged from the Harlem Renaissance (“Langston Hughes” 792). He is recognized for his poetry and like many other writers from the Harlem Renaissance, lived most of his life outside of Harlem (“Langston Hughes” 792). His personal experiences and opinions inspire his writing intricately. Unlike other writers of his time, Hughes expresses his discontent with black oppression and focuses on the hardships of his people. Hughes’ heartfelt concern for his people’s struggle evokes the reader’s emotion. His appreciation for black music and culture is evident in his work as well. Langston Hughes is a complex poet whose profound works provide insight into all aspects of black
Langston Hughes was an influential leader toward many African American men, woman, and children in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Langston Hughes may not be as well-known for the civil rights movement as Martin Luther King Jr. was, but Hughes was capable of placing an everlasting impact on black culture during this period of civil rights unrest in the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate for allowing the rights of African American people
Langston Hughes is a famous poet known mostly for his contribution to the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote many inspirational poems that are still read and used for educational purposes. Many of his poems were inspired by his life and his story. One of his many poems entitled “Theme for English B” talks about how his teacher instructed him to write a page about himself and it will be true. In a “Theme for English B”, Hughes uses tone, and characterization to display a relationship between race and writing.
“The Harlem Renaissance was a time where the Afro-American came of age; he became self-assertive and racially conscious… he proclaimed himself to be a man and deserving respect. Those Afro-Americans who were part of that time period saw themselves as principals in that moment of transformation from old to new” (Huggins 3). African Americans migrated to the North in great numbers to seek better lives than in the South as the northern economy was booming and industrial jobs were numerous. This movement brought new ideas and talents that shifted the culture forever. Black writers, such as Langston Hughes, used their work to claim a place for themselves and to demand self-respect in society. Poems that Langston Hughes wrote captured the essence of the complexity of a life that mixes joy and frustration of black American life through the incorporation of jazz and blues in order to examine the paradox of being black in mostly white America, the land of the not quite free.
It is no surprise that this poem is written by an African American, specifically Hughes, who was born on February 1, 1902. His father left the family for Mexico when he was young to
Langston Hughes’s writing showcases a variety of themes and moods, and his distinguished career led his biographer, Arnold Rampersad, to describe him as “perhaps the most representative black American writer.” Many of his poems illustrate his role as a spokesman for African American society and the working poor. In others, he relates his ideas on the importance of heritage and the past. Hughes accomplishes this with a straightforward, easily understandable writing style that clearly conveys his thoughts and opinions, although he has frequently been criticized for the slightly negative tone to his works.
The Harlem Renaissance sought to revitalize African American culture with a focus on arts and literature and creating socioeconomic opportunities (Harlem Renaissance). This temporal setting, predominantly the influence of the Harlem Renaissance, of Hughes’s life explains the purpose of Hughes’s writing: to express the oppression of African Americans and the imperfections of Hughes’s America and to heighten African American morale during his life through his writing.