English 2nd Period
18 April 2012
Langston Hughes: An African American Inspiration
Among the best African American poet and short story authors, Langston Hughes is the first person to come to mind. Best known for being in the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, Hughes directed his writing to motivate struggling or lower classed African Americans. By working at a young age and gradually improving, Hughes started to break out. After his high school days were done, the passion as a writer stayed within him. From being inspired, he became the one who was inspiring. As Langston continues his success his path of supporting his family gives him ultimate will power.
James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, 1902. His father and mother Nathaniel and Carrie Mercer Langston Hughes (Kellman 1165). However, Hughes parents divorced when he was a younger child and his father moved to Mexico (“Langston Hughes”). Langston lived with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas for all nine years until her death in 1912 (Kellman 1165). Hughes went to Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio where the school was productive in music, poetry, and art. Intially, Langston’s father had hoped for Hughes to attend a university abroad, and to study for a career in engineering. Eventually, Hughes and his father came to a compromise: Hughes would study engineering, so long as he could attend Columbia University (“Langston Hughes”). In 1921, Hughes attended Columbia University although there were policy and authority issues for the year he spent (Kellman 1165). He left in 1922 because of racial prejudice, and his interests revolved more around the neighborhood of Harlem than his studies, though he continued writing poetry (“Langston Hughes”). However in 1926, Hughes enrolled at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where he published The Weary Blues, Fire, and Fire Clothes to the Jews (Kellman 1165). While in grammar school in Lincoln, Hughes was elected...