A Black Poet
Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri in 1902 (Arnold Rampersad 11). When Hughes was a child his mother and father separated. Most of his young childhood was spent with his grandmother. She raised him to know his self-worth and the importance of know where he came from. He had a lonely childhood. His grandmother encouraged him to read all sorts of literature. At the age of 13 he wrote his first poem in honor of graduation in Lincoln, Illinois where he attended elementary school (John Wiley & Sons 97). During the 1920’s artistic growth was on the rise. This brought on the movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was important to Hughes' development as a poet because he spoke to other African American or “common people” alike, letting them know there self-worth and to truth to the inequality practiced in America.
Hughes' development as a poet during the Harlem Renaissance was intense to people of all ethnicities. Music played an important role in the African American culture as well as Hughes literature. People speak of Hughes as the father of the Harlem Renaissance. Af-Americans congregated in Harlem where jazz, blues and literature were awakened. This gives
understanding to the word “Renaissance”. He influenced many people with his talent as a writer. Artists of all races were inspired to follow his work. He spoke in his poems what he had experienced in his life and what other African American’s had endured. Whether they be African American or “common people” they could relate. During the time of the Harlem Renaissance, culture played an important role in Hughes’ poetry. In the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, he writes this as a reminder to the African American people of their history. He speaks of bathing in the Euphrates, building a hut near the Congo and building pyramids in the Nile. All have been presumed as part of the history of African Americans in regards to...
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Writing. Ed. Karen Mauk. 8th ed. Boston: Micheal Rosenberg, 2013.
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