Langston Hughes Impact on the Harlem Renaissance
For a long time in American History there was period when African Americans had no freedom, human rights, or even a right to vote. Living with many relatives and moving to different cities, Langston Hughes really experienced poverty. Langston Used poetry to speak to many African Americans and show them that they were somebody and play a big role in society. Mr. Hughes dedicated his poems to the struggles, pride, dreams, and racial injustices of African American people.
Langston Hughes was born James Langston Hughes, February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. Langston Hughes, named after his grandfather James Mercer Langston, was the first African American elected to public office in 1855. Langston’s, mother and father divorced when he was still a young child which caused his family to split. His father moved to Mexico, as Langston and his mother moved often staying with relatives. Langston finally stayed with his grandmother until his mother re-married in 1915. When Langston Hughes mother re-married he moved to Lincoln, Illinois and then to Cleveland, Ohio where he attended Central High school. During high school, Langston started to write poetry and short stories in his schools magazine. Once he graduated from high school in June 1920, Langston Hughes usually spent some time with his father in Mexico and teaching English. While Langston Hughes spent time with his father he started writing for the Crisis magazine, which was then published by the NAACP. The NAACP played a huge part in the civil rights movement this allowed Langston to send poetry and literature regularly to the Crisis magazine. Langston Hughes left his father in Mexico to pursue school in Columbia University, while in school he continued to send his poetry to Crisis magazine. There studying English literature and living in Harlem, Mr. Hughes learned to develop a unique style of writing. Langston Hughes left school after a year and started supporting himself and his mother with lowly jobs. In 1923, Mr. Hughes grabbed a job as a cabin boy with a freight company out of West Africa, which forced him to travel to different countries. During his travels, Mr. Hughes was able to focus more on what he wanted to write. In addition, he was able to decide on his writing style.
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The Harlem Renaissance flourishes in the 1920s and 1930s. This literary, artistic, and intellectual movement fosters a new black cultural movement. Langston Hughes was one of the most influential black poets during this time period. He stood behind other black people and uplifted them and showed them that they were powerful and just as important to society like any other race. In 1926, Langston Hughes and other young black artists formed a support group. This group included artists like Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Bennett, and painter Aaron Douglas. The whole point of The Renaissance was to get black artist, and even people, to express themselves and what they are feeling. This was like an outlet so they didn’t have to think about all that racial tention that was going on in America. His poetry was a way for us to see a picture of urban life during the Harlem Renaissance, the habits, attitudes, and feelings of his oppressed people. These poems did more than reveal the pain of poverty, it also illustrated racial pride and dignity. “His main concern was the uplift of his people, whose strengths, resiliency, courage, and humor he wanted to record as part of the general American experience” (Wikipedia, Langston Hughes). Hughes wanted to put confidence in others and let them know that being black is beautiful and you should never be ashamed of that. Hughes believed the worthiness that all black people