On February 1, 1902, one of the most intriguing poets to take part in the Harlem Renaissance was born in Joplin, Missouri to Carrie Mercer Langston and to James Nathaniel Hughes. Hughes parents separated shortly after his birth. After moving to Lawrence, Kansas, Hughes was raised by his grandmother. Although at this time he hadn’t yet written a poem, Hughes was named class poet during his elementary school years. Until the age of 13, Hughes continured to attend school between both Kansas and Illinois.
Hughes grandmother passed during his school years. After he death, Hughes moved in with his mother, who had forbid him to stay with her for unknown reasons before. Starting a new life in Cleveland, Ohio, Hughes attended a mostl white high school. Due to his fine skin complexion and ‘silky’ hair, Hughes was referred to as ‘Indian-looking’. After sparking an interest in writing, due to the introduction of Carl Sandburg, Hughes graduated high school in 1920.
While visiting his father after graduation, Hughes had the urge to write a new piece of art. On his journey, he wrote the famous poem called “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” In that writing, Hughes was able to show his art of African American music, such as jazz and blues. After his poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” Langston Hughes wrote another poem by the name of “The Weary Blues”. In 1925, this poem in particular won a section in the Opportunity Magazine Literary Contest. In 1926, another poem by the same name had appeared, and helped launch Hughes career.
During that time in which Hughes was heavily involved in new writing, the black community was going through a social problem of its own. Racism, and trying to fit into society was quite hard during that time. Some...