Analysis of Theme for English B by Langston Hughes

1789 Words8 Pages
Langston Hughes was an African American poet and author who joined other black artists to break literary barriers during the civil rights movement. The poem entitled "Theme for English B" was written thirty years or so after the birth of the Harlem Renaissance, but still embodies why the Renaissance had originated in the first place. I believe this poem reflected on Hughes' life in general, but more importantly on the fight against the ignorance that created discrimination. James Mercer Langston Hughes was born February 1st, 1902 in the town of Joplin Missouri. Being the great-great-grandson of the first African American to be put into public office, one could say that Hughes was destined to make his own mark in society. The first signs of talent began in the eighth grade, where he was elected class poet. After attempting to receive a degree in engineering at Columbia University, Langston went back to his love of writing. The art of writing was Langston's calling, but his father didn't believe he could make a living simply because he was black. Ironically, the Harlem Renaissance was just emerging. The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that strived to put African American poets, authors, and song writers on the same level as the white population. It was an underground uprising which included magazines filled with African American literature such as poems and short stories. Amongst these artists were Claude McKay, Bessie Smith, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes. The one characteristic that describes the Harlem Renaissance most correctly was the fact that there was no one set style. Every artist had their own way of getting their point across. The only tie that bonded them was the push for artistic eq... ... middle of paper ... .... But just because what she thinks is the theme makes a whole lot of sense, it doesn't mean that mine is wrong. People interpret poetry differently. I myself went with the whole equality route. All in all, are thoughts weren't that far off. The poem "Theme for English B" by Langston Hughes is best summarized by the author's life in general. It's not hard to see the similarities between the student in this poem and the man who wrote it. Langston had no advantage in the fact that his grandfather was the first African American in office. Hughes had to make a name for himself on his own. He did this by traveling on a cargo boat, working as a bus busboy, and eventually contributing his works to the Harlem Renaissance, which gave African American literature the credit it deserved. The student who wrote this assignment grew up to be a world class author and poet.
Open Document