Langston Hughes Essay

1394 words - 6 pages

In 1921, Langston returned to the United States. After arriving back in his home country, Langston ventured to New York to attend Columbia University. This period of Hughes’ life would be most inspirational to his works, and most importantly, when Hughes works would become discovered as a poet. During his stay at Columbia University, Hughes had a hard time adjusting. He did not enjoy college and found it excruciatingly boring. Instead of studying and being interested in his schooling, Langston spent most of his time in Harlem. Harlem would hold open many doors to Hughes interest in poetry, writing, and being an artist as a whole. Hughes wrote in The Big Sea: “I was in love with Harlem long before I got there.” (Albany College). This statement truly shows the love Langston had for Harlem. It also showed that Harlem became Hughes’ first true home. Hughes’ inspiration came from Harlem, the people in Harlem, and he returned the inspiration to many others in Harlem. The Harlem Renaissance had a huge importance in the civil rights movement because it marked the period where African American literature and arts were taken seriously by publishers, and attracted the nation to it. Harlem was home to a popping, exciting community of African Americans that shared the common interest of art, writing, and expressing themselves. The Harlem community Langston had interacted with opened his eyes entirely to a new world. He was able to express himself to his fullest in Harlem solely because it was filled with other African American artists who were inspiring to make something of themselves and be heard. Langston was able to gain so much from Harlem, and used his experiences in Harlem and applied them to his writings.
Hughes later dropped out of Columbia University in 1922 due to his lack of interest in his classes. Hughes then acquired a residence in Harlem and began his search for a new job. Langston decided he would try to get a job on a ship. A job on a ship would offer him the option to travel far away and explore what the world has to offer. He acquired a job on an old freighter as a deck hand for a few months. During this period, Langston often read many books that were in the ships’ library and listened in on many interesting stories told by sailors. He spent much of his time on the ship that winter and wrote one of his well-known poems “The Weary Blues”. This poem was based on an old Harlem piano player who appeared to be feeling blue. The ship Langston had been working on was docked during the winter and did not travel, as he originally had wanted to. Langston still had ambition to travel the globe. In 1923, Langston obtained a job aboard the S.S. Malone for six months. The S.S. Malone would travel around the Ivory and Gold coasts. Hughes’ traveled to many places in Africa and Europe. Langston’s travels continued to expand his viewpoints, and allowed him the opportunity to experience many new things. He took in what the people he met had to offer and...

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