Langston Hughes Essay

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The Harlem Renaissance was an outpouring of African American music, art, and literature. It was a very controversial and contradictory time filled with political turmoil for African Americans. Hughes however, wrote through it. He captured the joys and pains of the African American experience through his poetry. Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri to James and Carrie Hughes. As a youth, Hughes moved several times. This was however very beneficial to Hughes, he took meanings from the people and places he went to. Hughes mainly moved between the homes of his grandmother, his mother, and other surrogate parents. Hughes attended Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio. He was designated “class poet” and also published his first short stories. He made friends with some white classmates, and he also suffered racial insults from other white classmates (Harper). When Hughes graduated from high school in 1920, he moved to Mexico City to live with his father for one year. While in Mexico, Hughes gathered new impressions and Okenwa 2 insights about race, class, ethnicity (Harper). When Hughes left Mexico, he was expected to earn an engineering degree at Columbia University. Hughes, nevertheless, withdrew from Columbia in 1922, and began his world travels in 1923. He worked as a dishwasher in a Paris cabaret and wrote poems and short stories that captured his impressions abroad. He sent them back to the United States to have them published, enhancing his growing reputation as a writer. The Harlem renaissance was a time period from 1900 – 1940. It was marked by an outpouring of African American music, art, literature, and political and philosophical thought. During and after World War 1, thousands of Southern African Americans moved to Harlem as art of the Northern Migration to seek economic and creative opportunity (Altman). As a result, the

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