The Hard Knock Life for Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes is often considered a voice of the African-American people and a prime example of the Harlem Renaissance. His writing does symbolize these titles, but the concept of Langston Hughes that portrays a black man's rise to poetic greatness from the depths of poverty and repression are largely exaggerated. America frequently confuses the ideas of segregation, suppression, and struggle associated with African-American history and imposes these ideas onto the stories of many black historical figures and artists. While many of them have struggled with these confines set upon them by American society, Langston Hughes did not fulfill this historical stereotype due to his personal wealth, education, and recognized success.

James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902. His father, James Nathaniel Hughes was a lawyer and businessman and his mother, Carrie Mercer Hughes was a schoolteacher. The dual income from his parents appropriated him with funds that he used for his education and to begin his poetry career. This was an advantage unknown to many black Americans at this time. Hughes spoke of the poverty of the black people and struggles that many went through in their lives just to make enough money for their families to survive. Langston Hughes never encountered this first-hand. In "Let America Be America Again", he states "I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart". He was never as poor as he spoke of and was never "fooled and pushed apart". He also was privileged enough to obtain a sponsor, which still to this day is considered a rare blessing to aspiring writers.

In 1929, he met Charlotte van der Veer Quick Mason, a wealthy widow and for the next four years, he was financially supported by this woman. Again in "Let America Be America Again", Hughes says "I am the man who never got ahead, The poorest worker bartered through the years." In comparison to the many African-Americans at the time who were, indeed,...
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