Langston Hughes, An African American Writer Essay

Langston Hughes, An African American Writer Essay

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Langston Hughes was an African American Writer who became famous in the 1920’s during the Harlem Renaissance. During his writing for nearly 50 years he helped expressed the minds of most if not all African Americans. Langston Hughes began writing in high school, and even at a very early age was developing the writing voice that made him famous. Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, but lived with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas until he was thirteen and then with his mother in Lincoln, Illinois and Cleveland, Ohio where he went to high school (Langston). After graduating from high school he went to Mexico to visit with his father (Langston). While in Mexico he was trying to convince his father to pay for his education at Columbia University. For a while he lived in Mexico with his father, who constantly tried to get him to stop writing (Redding). His poetry was then noticed and published in a famous poet’s book. That book was Brownies Book, which was published by W. E. B. Du Bois (Redding). The Poem that was in this was titled “A Negro Speaks a River”. While Hughes was studying at Columbia University he began to feel a lot of pressure from racism. After two years he couldn’t take it anymore and dropped out (Williams). He found much of his inspiration in black communities such as Harlem. By that time the Harlem Renaissance, which was “the mass production of art and literature by Black Americans” was in full swing.
Hughes ' is most famous due to his invention of jazz poetry. While most African American poets wrote in sonnets, Hughes used what is known as free verse to capture the rhythms of Jazz and blues (Williams). Hughes also featured everyday working middle class African American characters and used simple storytelling and ...


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...ause he went through the same troubles and hardships that he wrote about every day
Money was always a problem for Langston Hughes. He was never financially secure as even as a famous writer (Langston). He also had experience with that is as a writer. That is why a lot of his literature is about people who are down on their luck financially and are in desperate need of something. It all comes back around to the idea that the feeling of being powerless leads to violent actions.
Almost all of Hughes stories demonstrate many of the problems that African Americans faced during the depression era. These problems ranged from Prejudice to Racism and from despair to hopelessness. The recurring theme of powerlessness leads to violent actions. This was clearly shown by the actions of Old Man Oyster in “Gumption”, The Robber in “Why, you Reckon”, and Sergeant in “On the Road”.

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