The Harlem Renaissance with Langston Hughes

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Harlem Renaissance with Langston Hughes

The Harlem Renaissance brought about uniqueness amongst African Americans; everything was new. The visual art, the jazz music, fashion and literature took a cultural spin. During this time writer Langston Hughes seemed to outshine the rest with amazing works.

The Harlem Renaissance brought about many great changes. It was a time for expressing the African American culture. It is variously known as the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Literary Renaissance, or the New Negro Movement. Many famous people began their writing or gained their recognition during this time. The Harlem Renaissance took place during the 1920’s and 1930’s. “This movement known collectively as the Harlem Renaissance developed at the end of World War I in 1918, blossomed in the mid- to late 1920s, and faded in the mid 1930s. This movement developed along with social and intellectual disturbance in the African American community in the early 20th century.”[1]
The Harlem Renaissance also led to a declined era called the Great Depression. They also migrated to avoid terrorism, unending debts, and the poor living conditions of southern sharecropping. During that time, hundreds and thousands of educated and intellectual African Americans moved from financial depressed, low budget rural south to industrial cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and especially New York City, to take advantage of the job opportunities created by World War I. As more and more blacks settled in the neighborhood of Harlem, New York, it became a political and cultural place for black America; Harlem became a black neighborhood.

“As a result of this great collective body of African Americans coming together, the variety of talents among them, the creativity they offered each other, and the dynamics of their new found existence, created a rebirth for African Americans, now known as The Harlem Renaissance.”[2]

Many things came about during the Harlem Renaissance; things such as jazz and blues, poetry, dance, and musical theater. The African American way of life became the popular thing. Many white people came to discover this newest art, dancing, music, and literature. The Great Migration of African American people from the rural South to the North, and many into Harlem were the cause of this occurrence. The Great Migration was the movement of two million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Midwest, Northeast and West from 1910 to 1930. African Americans migrated to escape racism and prejudice in the South, as well as to seek jobs in industrial cities. Pan-africanism is a movement to unify African Americans into one community. America during this time begins to see this happening in Harlem. Harlem was originally a Dutch settlement.

Harlem became one of the largest African American communities in the United States, and during the Harlem Renaissance became a center for art and literature. Many great writers came about during this time, one of which was Langston Hughes. Hughes was born in 1902 with the name James Langston Hughes, and died in 1967. He lived most of his adult life in Harlem. He grew up without a stable family environment. His father moved to Mexico, and he never really saw much of him. Hughes was often referred to as “Harlem’s poet.”[3] Hughes had and still has a great influence on poetry.

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. It was a sad and dangerous place to be, after the depression. Hughes described the impact of the Great Depression among African Americans, “The depression brought everyone down a peg or two. And the Negro had but a few pegs to fall.”[4]

The Harlem Renaissance was important because it was the first time...
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