All Langston Hughes ever wanted was for people to have their dreams accomplished and the motivation to bring change forward. However, Hughes’ dreams almost came tumbling down for speaking out in one of his poems like he typically does. In 1940, Hughes had been investigated by the FBI following the release of his poem “Goodbye Christ”. Numerous accusations had arisen, stating Hughes “…[was a] member of the Communist Party, [ran] for public office, called for a race war, married a white woman, and studied Communism in the U.S.S.R.” (Dyson, p. 45, 2002). Although it looked as if Hughes’s days with the rest of society were numbered, Hughes made sure that his dreams were not forgotten. Hughes continued to write poetry during this difficult time period which included his poem “A Dream Deferred”. Hughes realized that when he wrote this poem, it had to be worded in a way that would get his message across while not raising any red flags. Even though his poem would get published, the publishers who helped Hughes had gotten fired (Miller, n.p., 2012). When Hughes was ordered to appear before the Committee of Un-American Activities in 1953, he looked to ensure that he would not end up in jail without abandoning his ideals. Hughes then released a statement regarding himself and his poetry saying that he believes “‘…in an America that changes as Americans want it to change’” which is exactly what is reflected in “A Dream Deferred” (Dyson, p. 45, 2002). When looking into the past events Hughes encountered prior to “A Dream Deferred” being published, it is evident that one can see the importance of pursuing dreams. People will try to get in the way of achieving dreams, whether it be Hughes’s, Harlem’s, of the African-American communit... ... middle of paper ... ...k down upon. In other words, the idea of what Harlem was and what it could have been “exploded” in nearly everyone’s mind. However, as Harlem began to spiral downward, Hughes looked to pick Harlem back up. In 1951, in the midst of chaos in Harlem, Hughes published his poem “A Dream Deferred” in hopes to call people’s attention to the devastating effects Harlem was experiencing. Although issues regarding racism began to be addressed in the 1960’s, Harlem continued to fall apart. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Harlem would begin to get back up off its feet. Patrols began increasing to deter crimes and retail stores began to gradually open up as seen with 65 East 125th Street. However, even though Harlem had begun undergoing a process of gentrification, for every step forward time had gone for the previous fifty years, it seemed as if Harlem took two steps back.
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Langston Hughes was an African American poet who emerged during the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance strongly influenced most of Langston Hughes’s writing. In such works as “Dream”, “Still Here”, “Dream Deferred”, and “Justice” you see the clear messages that are trying to be voiced through his work.
“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.” –Edgar Allan Poe. Poetry is one of the world’s greatest wonders. It is a way to tell a story, raise awareness of a social or political issue, an expression of emotions, an outlet, and last but not least it is an art. Famous poet Langston Hughes uses his poetry as a musical art form to raise awareness of social injustices towards African-Americans during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. Although many poets share similarities with one another, Hughes creatively crafted his poetry in a way that was only unique to him during the 1920’s. He implemented different techniques and styles in his poetry that not only helped him excel during the 1920’s, but has also kept him relative in modern times. Famous poems of his such as a “Dream Deferred,” and “I, Too, Sing America” are still being studied and discussed today. Due to the cultural and historical events occurring during the 1920’s Langston Hughes was able to implement unique writing characteristics such as such as irregular use of form, cultural and historical referenced themes and musical influences such as Jazz and the blues that is demonstrative of his writing style. Langston Hughes use of distinct characteristics such as irregular use of form, cultural and historical referenced themes and musical influences such as Jazz and the blues helped highlight the plights of African-Americans during the Harlem Renaissance Era.
When reading the literature of Langston Hughes, I cant help but feeling energetically charged and inspired. Equality, freedom, empowerment, renaissance, justice and perseverance, are just a taste of the subject matter Hughes offers. He amplifies his voice and beliefs through his works which are firmly rooted in race pride and race feeling. Hughes committed himself both to writing and to writing mainly about African Americans. His early love for the “wonderful world of books” was sparked by loneliness and parental neglect. He would soon lose himself in the works of Walt Whitman, Paul Laurence, Carl Sandburg and other literary greats which would lead to enhancing his ever so growing style and grace of oeuvre. Such talent, character, and willpower could only come from one’s life experiences. Hughes had allot to owe to influences such as his grandmother and great uncle John Mercer Langston - a famous African American abolitionist. These influential individuals helped mold Hughes, and their affect shines brightly through his literary works of art.
The Harlem Renaissance gave birth to many African American artists who were eager to share their works with the rest of the world, but it also gave rise to already existing artists such as the poet Langston Hughes whose poetry was, and still is, incredibly influential. One of Hughes’ best works, “Dream Deferred”, is still in the canon because it is inspiring and highly relatable. Hughes uses negative imagery and simple diction to deliver a powerful message that appeals to a large 21st century audience.
Langston Hughes, a remarkable and talented social activist, poet, and writer, displays the realistic internal struggles of African Americans through his writing. Hughes wrote during an era where social inequality weighed heavily on the American nation. Hughes was able to display the internal conflicts of frustrated African Americans, in regards to their goals and dreams, in his poem, “Harlem”. Utilizing poetic devices, Hughes is able to successfully display the emotional conflicts of the frustrations that African Americans faced in regards to their goals and dreams during the 1950’s.
Hughes speaks about black oppression in a full range of representation. The blacks that Hughes focuses most of his writing on are the “most burdened and oppressed of the black underclass, and people who have the most reason to despair but show the least evidence of it” (Bloom, “Thematic Analysis of the ‘Weary Blues’” 14). He tells the story of their life and times to voice his displeasure with the oppression of blacks (“Langston Hughes” 792). His work opens the public’s eye about what it is like to be black in America (“Langston Hughes” 792). In Hughes’ short poem “Harlem,” the speaker of the poem questions how the African American dream of equal opportunity is being constantly deferred and suppressed by white society (Niemi 1). Hughes wants his work to illuminate the fact that blacks miss opportunities due to their oppression.
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement during the 1920s and 1930s, in which African-American art, music and literature flourished. It was significant in many ways, one, because of its success in destroying racist stereotypes and two, to help African-Americans convey their hard lives and the prejudice they experienced. In this era, two distinguished poets are Langston Hughes, who wrote the poem “A Dream Deferred” and Georgia Douglas Johnson who wrote “My Little Dreams”. These two poems address the delayment of justice, but explore it differently, through their dissimilar uses of imagery, tone and diction.
“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go. -Langston Hughes” Hughes was an amazing man in his lifetime. He taught us all the true potential of African Americans and the skill that they possess. “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or does it explode” - Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes was one of the great writers of his time. He was named the “most renowned African American poet of the 20th century” (McLaren). Through his writing he made many contributions to following generations by writing about African American issues in creative ways including the use of blues and jazz. Langston Hughes captured the scene of Harlem life in the early 20th century significantly influencing American Literature. He once explained that his writing was an attempt to “explain and illuminate the Negro condition in America” (Daniel 760). To fulfill this task, he wrote 15 volumes of poetry, six novels, three books, 11 plays, and a variety of non-fiction work (Daniel 760). He also edited over 50 books in his time (McKay).
The Harlem Renaissance era was the name given to the period of time between the ending of the first World War in 1918 and the middle of the 1930s. During this time African American artists; writers, photographers, musicians, scholars etc., were all venturing into Harlem, NY the center place of art to explore these topics. Among one of these authors was Langston Hughes, who was one of the most notable figures of the Harlem Renaissance era. With his vast array of poetry, he shaped the way that African American people were portrayed in the public eye. With his poem “Dreams Deferred” in particular showed this concept in depth. This topic of African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance being seen as less than equal to white was a topic that was
Dreams are aspirations that people hope to achieve in their lifetime. They are a motive that drives lives to accomplish goals. When trying to achieve these goals, people can do anything. However, what happens when a dream is deferred? A dream cast aside can frustrate a person in the deepest way. It tends to permeate their thoughts and becomes an unshakable burden. In the poem “Harlem,” Langston Hughes, through literary technique, raises strong themes through a short amount of language.
Langston Hughes was an activist for the African-American community and made significant artistic contributions to the Harlem Renaissance throughout his career. In one of his most famous poems, “Harlem [Dream Deferred]”, he addresses the limitations and oppression of African Americans after the Great Depression. Many African Americans dreamed of equality, but often times that dream became neglected and pushed aside. In his poem, Hughes responds to a question about a deferred dream with a series of vivid similes, inquiring what happens to a constantly ignored dream.
“Harlem” by Langston Hughes is a poem that talks about what happens when we postpones our dreams. The poem is made up of a series of similes and it ends with a metaphor. The objective of the poem is to get us to think about what happens to a dream that is put off, postponed; what happens when we create our very own shelve of dreams? The “dream” refers to a goal in life, not the dreams we have while sleeping, but our deepest desires. There are many ways to understand this poem; it varies from person to person. Some may see this poem as talking about just dreams in general. Others may see it as African-American’s dreams.
Some critics claim that Langston Hughes depicted an ugly representation of black life in his poetry, but these poems exhibit the truth. The legacy of Langston Hughes’ writings has had a profound effect on American literature. He was one of the first African American poets. Due to his published success, he broke through the racial barrier in this country. During the Civil Rights Movement, he continued to write poetry and collections of works that demonstrated the hardship of blacks during the time. In his poems Ku Klux, Harlem, and Merry-Go-Round, Hughes shows the prominence of racial abuse, lack of opportunity, and segregation in African American life. The poetry of Langston Hughes impacted American culture by increasing awareness of the actual trials encountered by the African American population in America during this time period.
He grew up in the city Harlem in New York in which he was surrounded by African American culture. He was also raised during the flourishment of black culture which he used as inspiration for all of his later works. Although black culture was exponentially expanding, especially in Harlem, there was also a great deal of hardships faced by African Americans. In Harlem these included crime, poverty, drugs and other social pressures (Rampersad). Additionally, around the country African Americans were denied the right to vote via segregation and discrimination (Thomas). The lines in his poems reflect those societal truths that many tended to ignore. Langston Hughes' poem, Harlem, showcases his nihilistic outlook on the American dream by highlighting the common struggles of African Americans during the time