How Did Langston Hughes Influence African American Literature

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American literature is a distinct reflection of its time, the Harlem Renaissance period was significant for its progressive ideas on civil rights. This period was one that expressed the struggles and oppression that African-Americans faced throughout the 1920’s. The Harlem Renaissance brought forth the everyday struggles, yet highlighted the beauty of a culture cultivated through oppression. Harlem in New York City became the beacon of African-American culture that spread socially aware music, art, and literature. Harlem became the destination to which approximately 300,000 African-Americans migrated to, while fleeing the South’s economic and social strife. Harlem bloomed with jazz music and fashion making its nightlife the envy of white entrepreneurs. This period produced a series of activist writers whose work was a stepping stone to civil equality, such as W.E.B. De Bois, James Weldon Johnson, and the most influential Langston Hughes. Seen as the most influential activist writer to come out of the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes was the first to incorporate all aspects of African-American culture never shying away from issues even his own culture criticized him for. He often criticized through his literary work, black middle class Americans who imitated Caucasian customs and lifestyle. Over the course of his life Langston Hughes created many influential pieces of literature, however the early work in the start of his career is what brought him the recognition

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