Langston Hughes Contribution

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1233
  • Published : March 9, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
Langston Hughes was one of the great writers of his time. Through his writing he made many contributions to following generations by writing about African American issues in creative ways including the use of blues and jazz. Langston Hughes captured the scene of Harlem life in the early 20th century significantly influencing American Literature. He wanted American to see the conditions that many African Americans were living in. To do so, he wrote 15 volumes of poetry, six novels, three books, 11 plays, and a variety of non-fiction work.

James Mercer Langston Hughes lived a hard childhood due to the separation of his parents and the lack of money. Hughes lived with his relatives and moved around much throughout the first part of his life. By traveling many places and exploring new cultures, Hughes expanded his panorama.

Later in his life, Hughes lived in Washington, D.C. where he observed prejudice towards and within the city's black society. Here he published his first book of poetry. The upper-class blacks shunned the lower class viewing them as being "embarrassingly vulgar". Overcoming African-American prejudice was a major focus in most of Hughes' writing. For example, he wrote about the joys, sorrows and hopes of the black man in America. Not all of his writings were so encouraging however such as lynching, rape, and discrimination. At first, Hughes primarily focused on writing for a black urban audience. Throughout time, he changed his focus to middle-class blacks, and then to the men and women of Harlem as "black masses". Hughes ended up directing his writing to both whites and blacks of all classes. Hughes was said to have written with a kind of sadness for the events that oppressed him, and at the same time with a sense of optimism for a better world he knew would come. For instance, Hughes fought segregation in the armed forces by writing scripts and songs for various government agencies, typically without pay. Hughes, essentially an...
tracking img