He travelled a lot in Europe and West Africa. He was an African-American poet, novelist, and playwright. He is best known for the literary art form of jazz poetry. He is one of the poets who wrote during the Harlem Renaissance. His works are considered a true mirror that reflects the joys and pains of the black experience in America.
This occurred to the black artists during the Harlem Renaissance, when they had to decide whether they wanted to be a “poet” or a “Negro poet”. Langston Hughes, one of the major figures of the movement, stood on the side of the latter one. That being said, his works bear with them a great sense of universality. Since their first steps in American as transported slaves, the blacks have usually been treated with hostility and discrimination, even though they made no less contribution than the white, and their culture was no less beautiful. After the Civil War in 1865, black Americans were granted basic rights, just like any other American citizen.
Langston Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance; He was one of the innovators of the literary art form of jazz poetry. Langston Hughes’ writings brought attention to the plight of the suffering, injustice and repression of African Americans. "Throughout his long career as a professional writer, Hughes remained true to the African American heritage he celebrated in his writings, which were frankly "racial in theme and treatment, derived from the life I know." (901). Langston Hughes uses metaphor, diction, imagery, and allusion in a lot of his poems.
Langston Hughes Research Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is one of the most influential African-American writers of the 20th century. His poetry represented a significant chapter in American literature. He always wrote about the current events of what is happening to African-Americans in his time. It is because of his original poetry that engraved his name forever in not only African American history, but in American Literature as well. “Through his long career as a professional writer, Hughes remained true to the African American heritage he celebrated in his writings, which were frankly ”racial in theme and treatment, derived from the life I know” (1131 Meyer) .
Historical Analysis of Poetry by Langston Hughes Langston Hughes created poems that had an idiomatic realism in an era that was filled with oppression and racial inequality toward African Americans. A historical analysis shows how cultural events molded the theme and influenced the work of Langston Hughes. Hughes wrote poetry in an era when colored people are struggling to be gain equal rights, and prove that they had more worth then just someone to plow the fields and do hard labor. This time period is known as the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes poetry shows a reader some of the everyday struggles that colored people had to endure.
The Harlem Renaissance showed the different cultures of African American. One of the main factors leading to the rise of the Harlem Renaissance was the urban migration("biography.com"). There were different people of the arts, such as Nora Thurston Zeale who was an anthropologist, Countee Cullen who was a romantic poet, Langston Hughes who was a poet as well as a playwright. Marcus Garvey, James Weldon Johnston, and W.E.B. Dubois were three political figures who helped people have hope of freedom for African Americans and made the Harlem Renaissance what it came to be known for, all the arts, literature, and music.
“Theme for English B” The first thought that came to mind when reading this poem, “Theme for English B,” by Langston Hughes was the dichotomy being used of blacks and whites; along with the differences and similarities that ultimately connect everyone together. During this time period there was controversy over segregation and inequality. Using my background knowledge from US History, in this specific time period that this poem was being written occurred when the Harlem Renaissance was taking place. With this in mind, Hughes word choice and sentence fluency give off a blues/jazz vibe. Since this was a time for renewal and flourishing of black literacy and musical culture, this would make sense to why he incorporated this tone throughout his poem.
“Democracy”: Opportunities for All “Democracy” by Langston Hughes reflects the struggles of African Americans during the early and middle parts of the 20th century. The increased interest of African American music, literature, and art became known as the Harlem Renaissance, which resulted in the formation of social and political organizations to help bring equal rights to all people. At a time when many citizens in America felt mistreated by the rest of the country, Hughes exemplifies this by infusing black culture into his writing to show societies views of the time. “Democracy” was written during this time period (1949) and noticeably emphasizes the right for all citizens, regardless of color, to have the same rights and freedoms. The poem is delivered in a serious, somewhat frustrated tone to show Hughes clearly wants a fair democracy system compared to the system of the time that was filled with bias.
LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN Let America Be America Again Juan A Severino South University English II Literature Instructor: Julie Kares 05/01/10 The poem "Let America Be America Again" by Langston Hughes purposefully is reminiscent of (Walt Whitman's) "I Hear America Singing" in which Whitman is optimistic about this land of democratic opportunity. Hughes, Hughes was the first African American author to support himself through his writing; he produced more than sixty books. He earned critical attention for his portrayal of realistic black characters and he became one of the dominant voices speaking out on issue concerning black culture. He wrote in many genres; starting and continuing with poetry, he turned to fiction, autobiographies, and children’s books. His most famous fictional character is Jesse B. Semple, nickname Simple, who uses humor to protest and satirize the existing injustice.
El Zakhem 1 George El Zakhem English 126 Shick 2/11/13 “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” versus “I Believe In You” The Harlem renaissance during the 1920’s epitomized the struggle of the African-American community. Langston Hughes’ a prominent African-American writer during this movement came to be the figure head of this era of writing. Likewise Khalil Gibran a Lebanese immigrant would also contribute to the poetry of this age. However his work wouldn’t be fully recognized until the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s. Both Hughes and Gibran placed a great deal of importance on the themes of heritage, civilization, and racial equality in their writing.
Historical Approach to Hughes Poems 1 Langston Hughes was a very popular African American poet, who contributed greatly to the Harlem movement in the United States. Throughout his life, most of Hughes works were about Harlem and the racism that was prevalent in the country. He lived and worked in Harlem. Hughes life Spanned 65 years from 1902-1967, and in that time he wrote many poems, short stories, plays and Novels. When I take into light a historical approach while reading Hughes different poems I look at the time period when they were written.
Although RICHARD WRIGHT: BLACK BOY focuses mainly on the life and history of an internationally acclaimed American author, the visual and audio components of the documentary richly contextualize the literature that Wright produced. In that sense, the documentary synthesizes a great amount of historical, social and cultural information about the twentieth century. The poem starts off pretty negative as Hughes describes the fact that the wall stands in the way of his dream and he gives up. The poem is written in a manner that copies the repetitions of American blues music. The mood of the poem "As I Grew Older" is very encouraging of letting black people know if you have a dream you can fight for it, and be happy within your skin.
Cooper English Poetry 2223-001 Vincent Leitch 31 January 2012 True Identity defined for Society Langston Hughes’ poetry defined his true identity and made a positive impact on the black community that has inspired society for generations. Though he died in 1967, he is still one of the most critiqued writers in American poetry. In my opinion, Langston Hughes remains the most influential poet of his time, and still has a positive impact on today’s society. The symbolism understood in his “middle” writing, was reflective of his true identity because he was raised in a middle-class, African-American family. Acquiring this information has helped me identify the flaws of the American viewpoint on the black community, some of which are still seen today, nearly a century after Hughes first started writing.
Ian Hulbert Professor Losambe Harlem Renaissance and Negritude 2/20/2012 Effectiveness of the Harlem Renaissance Movement: During the period of 1919 up until the early 1930’s, a cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance exploded in primarily Harlem, Ney York. It had started after the post-Civil War Reconstructionist period, where African Americans were free from slavery, but then subjected to white supremacy in the forms of segregation and racial inequality. A major way in which the African Americans expressed their need for political, social, and economic equality was through the arts, such as music, singing, and poetry. Particularly, poetry was fundamental in this movement, and famous poets such as Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and Countée Cullen used it to help make change by expressing their idealisms. However, they did not write poetry angrily or belligerently, protesting their hatred toward the white supremacists; rather, through cleverly written rhyme schemes, imagery, and rhythmic movements of the poetry itself, they proposed a new idealism, one in which Blacks and Whites would benefit from one another, and the reasons for it.
Chris Castaneda Introduction to Literature 5 November 2001 American Dreams Langston Hughes was well known for his portrayal of African American life style during the early part of the 20th century. His poetry specifically focused on the way many African Americans' lives were at the time, and expressed feelings and frustrations he along with many others had. His works helped contribute to the Harlem Renaissance, which was a time when African Americans began to express themselves in ways such as literature, art, and music. Hughes' works inspired many other black authors, and he will always be remembered as an important figure in literature. In Hughes' poem "Let America Be American Again," Hughes shows the frustration and pain he feels about how he is looked upon in American society.
Writing is how the author is feeling or what the author has experienced. When growing up my grandmother and mother use to tell me about Langston Hughes and how he is one of the great poetic of all times. “Hughes is one of the most influential African-American poets, drawing from the experiences of his life for his writing” (Glantz, S. (2007). “Dream Boogie” by Langston Hughes (1951) caught my attention because how he uses his flow of words in describe what he actually means in what he is saying. I had to read this poem a couple of times to get an understanding in what he was actually saying.
Hughes poetry was a reflection of the African American culture and Harlem. He wrote many poems, and continued to write even after the Harlem Renaissance. He loved Harlem that was his home. He watched it decline with the onset of the Great Depression. He saw Harlem turn into a place to be feared by many.
Harlem Renaissance: African American Writers There are many historical events that profoundly changed America’s people and culture. One of the most influential and critical eras in American history is the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston wrote literary works that strengthened the confidence of all African Americans during the time that marked their growth into the broad world of the nation’s art, music, literature, and culture. The civil war that ended in 1865 finally brought slavery to an end, and African Americans thought that a new era of freedom was about to take place. Hopes were brought down during the reconstruction era from 1865 through 1877 when they where constantly discriminated against.
Throughout this time African Americans increasingly migrated North due to the living conditions in the south after the American Civil War. Langston Hughes was one of many influential black writers and literary promoters. A few eras later we still see this type of talent portrayed through words. In the 1960’s Sam Cooke expressed himself through freedom songs, labor songs and gospel songs. During this time people also believe that a huge change was inevitable.
Negro: Pride in being African-American In 1926, amid rampant racial injustice, Langston Hughes wrote a poem called “Negro.” What Hughes wrote is a classic poem about the history and lives of African-Americans. Being African American in the 1920s, Hughes experienced prejudice and unfairness in all areas of life. Hence, the product of those experiences is reflected in the intensity and sincerity of “Negro.” Since “Negro” was written by an African-American, it carries with it a great deal of credibility that it would not have if it were written by a non-black person. In today’s politically correct environment, the title “Negro” may provoke controversy with some of the public. However, that is the opposite reaction that Hughes likely intended when he wrote the poem.