(Hughes) The poetry of Langston Hughes, the poet laureate of Harlem, is an effective commentary on the condition of blacks in America during the 20th Century. Hughes places particular emphasis on Harlem, a black area in New York that became a destination of many hopeful blacks in the first half of the 1900ís. In much of Hughes' poetry, a theme that runs throughout is that of a "dream deferred." The recurrence of a "dream deferred" in several Hughes poems, especially this one, paint a clear picture of the disappointment and dismay that blacks in America faced in Harlem. Furthermore, as the poem develops, so does the feeling behind "A Dream Deferred," growing more serious and angrier with each new line.
The Harlem Renaissance, also known as “The New Negro Movement” was a cultural movement that spanned the1920’s. The Harlem Renaissance was a defining moment in African American literature causing an outburst of creative activity in black writers and artists in New York City. The Harlem Renaissance was influenced by the migration of African Americans from the South seeking better opportunities for themselves. A black man named Charles Spurgeon Johnson who was the editor for the National Urban League magazine encouraged and supported black writers and artists who were part of the Harlem Renaissance. Charles’ magazine later became the leading voice of black culture.
“I swear to the Lord, I still can't see, why Democracy means, everybody but me”. These are the words of Langston Hughes, a black writer and poet from the early twentieth century. This man was famous for his portrayal of the realities of black life and culture in America. Although some literary critics may feel that Hughes’s poetry presented an unattractive view of black life, his poetry demonstrated the reality of their lives. Many of Hughes’s poems stand out in their description of the black experience.
He was an all around star at his school. In January 1922, he graduated with honors in Latin, Greek, Mathematics, and French. After graduating high school, he started attending New York University. In 1923, he won second prize in the Witter Bynner undergraduate poetry contest, which was sponsored by the Poetry Society of America. He won with a poem entitled The Ballad of the Brown Girl.
New York City in the 1920¹s was a place of immense growth and richness in African-American culture and art. For Hughes, this was the perfect opportunity to establish his poems. His early work reflects the happy times of the era. However, as time progressed he became increasingly bitter and upset over race relations. Except for a few examples, all his poems from this later period spoke about social injustice in America.
Web. 15 February 2014. "The Harlem Renaissance." ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d.
"Harlem Renaissance". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web.
LANGSTON HUGHES James Mercer Langston Hughes was most commonly known as Langston Hughes. He was an African American writer in the 1920’s which at the time was very difficult because of all the racial discrimination. He is mostly known for being an influential figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s. Langston Hughes had a difficult childhood, however, he overcame his struggles and became the famous Renaissance poet that people know him for today and that future generations will also. Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902.
The Harlem Renaissance was the period in history from 1919 to 1940 where the beauty, strength, and intelligence of the African American people shone brightly through profound cultural and artistic expression in literature, art, and theatre. There was a transformation in African American identity and history, but more importantly for the first time in American history, Americans read the thoughts of blacks and embraced their productions, literature, and art (Gates Jr. and McKay). The Harlem Renaissance Revisited Renaissance is used by historians to characterize some moment in culture that once dormant, has been reawakened. The Harlem Renaissance was a response to the African American people’s social conditions. It offered affirmation of their dignity and humanity in the face of their poverty and the racism that had become a part of their everyday lives.