Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance Essay 2223 Words | 9 Pages

Langston Hughes & the Harlem Renaissance: Poems of …

It wasn’t easy growing up in a society where white domination was hardly of any support to the then growing black geniuses of literature like Langston Hughes. Though many obstacles came in his life, he was able to over come them without ever giving up. As a poet, he was truly an amazing writer finding ways to express the forbidden feelings of African Americans in his little poems and other literary works. Although his works were written in a simple language, they delivered a much greater meaning that was not seen on the surface of its innocence.

Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, , , and were among Harlem Renaissance writers who found Africa appealing. For Hughes, it reflected his unprecedented appreciation of blackness. The pride he felt in celebrating black women and the beauty of black people in general can be tied to his locating the origins of black Americans in Africa as well as to his later travels to Africa. Hughes found black to be beautiful long before the 1960s. Hughes also asserted, rather boldly for his time, that black people had played significant roles in history and that that significance was tied to their origins in Africa. Perhaps his best-known articulation of this sentiment is captured in his poem, “,” which appeared in the June, 1921 issue of the NAACP’s magazine —when Hughes was eighteen. Hughes had not traveled to Africa before he wrote this poem, but his strong assertion that black Americans had a place in the history of the world was striking. In contrast to the belief that blacks had contributed little to civilization, Hughes maintains that blacks were present at the dawn of civilization. He imagines a collectivity of blackness, one that illustrates the presence of blacks at the cradle of civilization, in the Fertile Crescent. Claiming the Euphrates, the Nile, and the Congo as his own, as places near where his people resided, Hughes takes a position that is a long way from that of those who assert that blacks are without culture and without definitive historical roots.

By examining 2 poems by Langston Hughes, this essay will demonstrate how he criticized racism in Harlem, New York. Langston Hughes was born James Langston Hughes February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. Hughes parents divorced when she was still a young child. Hughes father later then moved to Mexico. He was raised by his grandmother up until the age of 13 then moved to Lincoln, Illinois to live with his mother and her husband. Hughes attended Columbia University but left about a year after. He was a poet, writer and playwright, in addition to writing a popular column for the Chicago Defender.

Jean (Eugene) Toomer, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown ..

In New York, he wrote poetry, entered it into contest and was invited to the banquet where he got acquainted with Van Vechten and submitted some poems to him. These poems were published and appeared in February 1926 as The Weary Blues. Since then, he has been receiving many different prized for his poetry and essays. Since then, Hughes went to many parties and banquets and met many well know and wealthy painters as Miguel Covarrubias, Aaron Douglas, Winold Reiss, and Arthur Spingarn, a lawyer. His wealthy sister-in-law, Amy Spingarn, got acquainted with Langston Hughes and since then has become a secret benefactor. She also financed his education to Lincoln University which was an all-male, black college in Pennsylvania. Durring his stay there, Hughes wrote a lot. Fine Clothes to the Jew was published in February 1927 and had mixed reactions from critics. Many critics objected to the book. To show his dissatisfaction, J. A. Rogers wrote:

Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance essay on Essay …

The poem Harlem by Langston Hughes reflects the post World War II mood of many African Americans. The Great Depression was over, the war was over, but for African Americans the dream, whatever particular form it took, was still being deferred. Whether one’s dream is as mundane as hitting the numbers or as noble as hoping to see one’s children reared properly, Langston Hughes takes them all seriously; he takes the deferral of each dream to heart.

The Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes essays

The Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes essaysThe Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes The Harlem Renaissance was a …

Born in Missouri, Langston Hughes (1902-1967) moved to New York City in 1921 to study at Columbia University because it was in Harlem. Hughes was introduced nationally in 1921, when his poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" was featured in Crisis magazine. Author of poems, plays, essays, and short stories, Hughes was one of the most prolific and influential writers in the Renaissance era and until his death in 1967.

Essay: The Harlem Renaissance - Online Essays

school teacher that gave the assignment was fired for doing so. In Langston Hughes' "I, Too", written in 1925, the speaker in the poem is a young black male. Through out this entire poem the speaker expresses great hope about his peoples' future. He seems to think that very soon, during his time, there would have been a drastic change in the way that his people were treated. "Tomorrow, / I'll be at the table" (Hughes 8/9), shows his confidence that his people would be treated as equals in a…


Langston Hughes: Comparison and Contrasting Essay. by Feross Aboukhadijeh. Langston Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of …

sought out to write their feelings turning them into poetry. One of these people is Langston Hughes. Hughes is a very influential man who has written countless amounts of poetry. Another leading poet that has a major impact to further demolish racism is Maya Angelou. She too has written a multitude of poetry over the years, and continues to be a major role model for young, upcoming poets. In Harlem by Langston Hughes it displays to the audience about a dream deferred. In Still I Rise by Maya Angelou…Hughes was a great writer with much diversity in his types of writings. His poetry was a way for us to see a picture of urban life during the Harlem Renaissance, the habits, attitudes, and feelings of his oppressed people. These poems did more than reveal the pain of poverty, it also illustrated racial pride and dignity. “His main concern was the uplift of his people, whose strengths, resiliency, courage, and humor he wanted to record as part of the general American experience” (Wikipedia, Langston…The results of this union varied widely in terms of theme, stylistic innovation, and meaning. Poets could embrace the conventional styles of genteel poetry, as Countee Cullen did for Color, Copper Sun, Caroling Dusk, and The Ballad of the Brown Girl; or as Georgia Douglas Johnson did in The Heart of a Woman and Bronze. Although Jamaican-born Claude McKay wrote traditional Romantic poetry in Harlem Shadow, he did not abandon his connection to the African-American experience, a point he made clear in "If We Must Die," his best-known poem. Still others sought to retain a strong presence of a black folk tradition, a tradition that was itself undergoing transformation from its southern rural roots into an urban vernacular. Langston Hughes, the most prolific Renaissance writer, led the way by applying these forms to formal written expression. His early reputation for poetic radicalism in form and content rests on his first volume, The Weary Blues, which appeared at the height of the Renaissance, in 1926. Hughes borrowed the blues matrix to create a new aesthetic and became the "Negro Poet Laureate." He always remained in touch with the "low down folk," whose experiences were at the heart of his poetry and prose. One of his most memorable characters is Mrs. Alberta K. Johnson, the brutally honest Harlem tenant in the landlord poems, among other Harlem familiars. Most important, there was Jesse B. Semple, his most successful creation, a legendary everyman through whom Hughes could address a wide range of concerns in his Chicago's Daily Defender newspaper column. Though never critically acclaimed during his own lifetime, Hughes was perhaps the most representative writer to emerge from the New Negro Renaissance because of his work in and beyond the period and his sustained commitment to an art for the people.