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Biography Of Langston Hughes Essay

1395 words - 6 pages

The well known poet Langston Hughes was an inspiring character during the Harlem Renaissance to provide a push for the black communities to fight for the rights they deserved. Hughes wrote his poetry to deliver important messages and provide support to the movements. When he was at a young age a teacher introduced him to poets Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, and they inspired him to start his own. Being a “darker brother,” as he called blacks, he experienced and wanted his rights, and that inspired him. Although literary critics felt that Langston Hughes portrayed an unattractive view of black life, the poems demonstrate reality. Hughes used the Blues and Jazz to add effect to his work as well as his extravagant word use and literary tools help get the point he is pushing at across. Pieces of his work that demonstrate this the best are “Harlem(Dream Deferred),” “I, Too,” and “The Backlash Blues.”
Hughes life was filled with accomplishments one after another that contributed to the awareness of unpleasantness in the black life to change America. Langston Hughes was born James Mercer Langston Hughes February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri to James Hughes and Carrie Langston. Hughes’ mother had to move a lot for during his young age and lived with his grandmother until she died when he was in his teens. Because he had no one else close to live with he went back with his mother. They moved a lot from city to city until finally settling in Cleveland, Ohio. It was this event that sparked his interest in poetry because one of his high school teachers introduced Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, who were his main inspirations. He moved to Mexico with his dad after he graduated from high school in 1920 Near that time his first poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” was published in The Crisis magazine. He moved back to the United States to enroll in Columbia University, and remained there for one year until he moved to New York to partake in several jobs. He signed up to be a steward for cargo ships which would take him to Africa and Spain. Then in 1924 he went to live in Paris where he continued his works. A bit after he got back to America he met poet Vachel Lindsay. After meeting Lindsay, Hughes career as a poet truly took off because when Hughes showed Lindsay his work he was intrigued greatly. Vachel massively broadened Hughes audiences, and in this event his work displayed his purpose to fight segregation and show the ugliness of black life widely.

One of Hughes most famous poems, “Harlem(Dream Deferred)” had a great impact by posing lots of questioning. According to critic Tom Hanson, this poem is just that simple because it gives a bunch of undesirable answers to the same question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Hanson also says how this poem refers almost completely to an unsolved problem (Hanson, Harlem). The poem gives four rather unpleasant interrogatives and one declarative answer followed by the sixth possibility, “Or does it...

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