The Life and Poetry of Langston Hughes Essay

The Life and Poetry of Langston Hughes Essay

Length: 766 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

According to Becky Bradley in American Cultural History, Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. Growing up, he dealt with some hard times. His parents divorced when he was little and he grew up with neither of his parents. Hughes was raised by his grandmother since his father moved to Mexico after their divorce and his mother moved to Illinois. It was when Hughes was thirteen that he moved out to Lincoln, Illinois to be reunited with his mother. This is where Hughes began writing poetry. However, the family moved again and finally settled in Cleveland, Ohio (Bradley, pars. 1-3).
Author Larry Neal writes that after his high school graduation, he spent a year in Mexico and then spent a year at Columbia University. Hughes moved to Washington, D.C. in November 1924 and two years later his first book of poetry was published. The book was titled, The Weary Blues, and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1926. He finally finished college at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1929. Then a year later his first novel, Not Without Laughter, won the Harmon Gold Medal for Literature. Hughes died of prostate cancer on May 22, 1967 in New York. In his memory his residence has been given landmark status. The street he lived on was also renamed after him making it, Langston Hughes Place (Neal, pars. 5-6).
According to Wallace, Langston Hughes, of many poets, became the cultural center of black America, which starts the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance went from the 1920s through the early 1930s. It was a time of rebirth for the black community. Their culture was on the rise with poets, musicians and artists all creating different masterpieces. Segregation was all African Americans have known. ...


... middle of paper ...


...s it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” became a widely known title to the play, A Raisin in the Sun. Both of these works really though were initially inspired by the Harlem Renaissance. African American artists, musicians and writers came alive to make their culture and people’s voices heard.





Works Cited
Bloom, Harold. Langston Hughes (Bloom's Modern Critical Views). New York: Chelsea House, 2007. Print.
Bradley, Becky. "About this Guide." American Cultural History. Lone Star College-Kingwood, July 2009. Web. 2 Nov. 2009.
Neal, Larry. "Langston Hughes: Black America's Poet Laureate." Gale Cengage Learning. Whitson Publishing Company, 1991. Web. 04 Nov. 2009.
Wallace, Maurice. Langston Hughes: The Harlem Renaissance. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008. Print.
"Langston Hughes -." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 05 Nov. 2009.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Life & Poems of Langston Hughes Essay

- During a time in American History were African Americans had no rights of freedom of speech or even a right to vote. Growing up in many different cities and living with many relatives, Langston Hughes experienced poverty. Langston Hughes used poetry to speak to the people. Langston Hughes is a pioneer of African American literature and the Harlem renaissance error. 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....   [tags: poetry, Langston Hughes, racism,]

Better Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

The Life and Works of Langston Hughes Essay

- 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....   [tags: poetry, jazz, segregation]

Better Essays
686 words (2 pages)

Time and Place in Langston Hughes' Poetry Essay

- In many different ways, the time periods affects us all. In Langston Hughes poem’s Dreams, My People and Oppression all the themes are based on the time period and the surrounding events. In the poem Dreams he expresses that we need to hold onto our dreams. In My People he expresses his love and appreciation for his people. Lastly, in the poem Oppression he expresses the sorrow and pain of African Americans. By analyzing the themes, tone and figurative language of these poems the reader will be able to see that time periods and there surrounding events affects people in everything they do....   [tags: Time, Place, Langston Hughes, Poetry]

Better Essays
1135 words (3.2 pages)

The Poetry of Langston Hughes During the Harlem Renaissance Essays

- I. Introduction: The Harlem Renaissance The village of Harlem, New York was originally established by Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant in 1658. It was named after a Dutch city, “Nieuw Harlem. It sits on a 5.5 square mile area of Manhattan north of 96th Street. The 1830s saw the abandonment of Harlem due to the fact that the farmlands failed to produce. The economic recovery in Harlem began in 1837. It boasted prosperous, fashionable neighborhoods that offered a diverse, rich background provided by several institutions and facilities of the day....   [tags: poetry, Langston Hughes]

Better Essays
1688 words (4.8 pages)

The Life and Achievements of Famous Poet, Langston Hughes Essay

- I Am Negro, Black as Night The title of this paper was inspired by the famous black poet, Langston Hughes’, poem Negro, which is included in the book The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes’ works are world renowned classics years after the start of his career. Hughes’ works were very influential in the age of the Harlem Renaissance. They are some of the greatest and most eye-opening works of that time. The research undertaken in this paper will include some aspects of his personal life, educational background, important works, the difference in his writing styles and the achievements that he acquired during his career....   [tags: poetry, biography, biographical, african american]

Better Essays
1278 words (3.7 pages)

Life and Work of Langston Hughes Essay examples

- Life and Work of Langston Hughes James Mercer Langston Hughes, an African American, became a well known poet, novelist, journalist, and playwright. During the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes gained fame and respect for his ability to express the Black American experiences in his works. He was one of the most original and versatile of the twentieth century black writers. Influenced by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Carl Dandburg, and his grandmother Carrie Mercer Langston Hughes, Langston Hughes began writing creatively while he was still a young boy (Barksdale 14)....   [tags: Biography bio Hughes Langston Poet Essays]

Free Essays
2055 words (5.9 pages)

The Work of Langston Hughes Essay example

- The Work of Langston Hughes Langston Hughes is considered by many readers to be the most significant black poet of the twentieth century. He is described as ³...the beloved author of poems steeped in the richness of African American culture, poems that exude Hughes¹s affection for black Americans across all divisions of region, class, and gender.² (Rampersad 3) His writing was both depressing and uplifting at times. His poetry, spanning five decades from 1926 to 1967, reflected the changing black experience in America, from the Harlem Renaissance to the turbulent sixties....   [tags: Poetry Langston Hughes Author Essays]

Better Essays
1319 words (3.8 pages)

Langston Hughes- Theme Analysis Essay

- Langston Hughes's stories deal with and serve as a commentary of conditions befalling African Americans during the Depression Era. As Ostrom explains, "To a great degree, his stories speak for those who are disenfranchised, cheated, abused, or ignored because of race or class." (51) Hughes's stories speak of the downtrodden African-Americans neglected and overlooked by a prejudiced society. The recurring theme of powerlessness leads to violence is exemplified by the actions of Sargeant in "On the Road", old man Oyster in "Gumption", and the robber in "Why, You Reckon?" Hughes's "On the Road" explores what happens when a powerless individual takes action on behalf of his conditions....   [tags: Poetry Poem Langston Hughes]

Free Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

Analysis of Harlem by Langston Hughes Essay

- Analysis of Harlem by Langston Hughes Through the turbulent decades of the 1920's through the 1960's many of the black Americans went through difficult hardships and found comfort only in dreaming. Those especially who lived in the ghettos' of Harlem would dream about a better place for them, their families, and their futures. Langston Hughes discusses dreams and what they could do in one of his poems, "Harlem." Hughes poem begins: "What happens to a dream deferred..." Hughes is asking what happens to a dream that is being put off....   [tags: Harlem Langston Hughes Poem Poetry Essays]

Better Essays
618 words (1.8 pages)

Langston Hughes' On the Road Essay

- Langston Hughes' "On the Road" In Langston Hughes, "On the Road" the Sargeant is a homeless Black man that is desperate for food and shelter. In his desperation, Sargeant goes to the church to refuge, but there is no one at the Church to help him get refuge. Although Sargent is living in a time where the depression is in existence amongst all people, Black and White, he finds no one to help him. Sargent goes to the Church because the Church helps people. However, because Sargeant is Black and the Church is populated by a White congregation, he is rejected....   [tags: Langston Hughes On Road Poetry Essays]

Better Essays
1247 words (3.6 pages)