Langston Hughes is more than a poet, novelist, and playwright; he is an iconic figure who served as the leading voice of the Harlem Renaissance. Known as the “New Negro Movement”, the Harlem Renaissance laid the pathway for self expression, cultural expression, and pride for african americans on their journey for equality. Effects were felt worldwide as even african colonies in France were even influenced by the movement. Hughes became a voice for all African Americans while showing the beauty of the culture. Growing up, Hughes has never been dependent on another. His mother was absent throughout many periods during his childhood searching for a secure job. With his father in Mexico, Hughes spent time hoping from place to place as his never seemed to be stable. Experiencing the effects of oppression while maturing, Hughes could not have come around a more appropriate time than the period of the Harlem Renaissance. American Literature and African American influences on it would simply not be the same without him.
Poems like The Weary Blues gives insight to how African Americans are viewed through the eyes of the whites. Descriptions such as the way they sway, “negro”, “fool”, and other forms of slang used to dehumanize their race, are combined with the message of the beauty and wonderful art that they are able to create while ignoring these remarks. I believe one of the driving meanings of the poem is to reveal to the world the “black mans” soul is being freed by the blues and their melancholy tone. The poem uniqueness lays in the point of view provided. The people watching with questions, presumably the white race, and the people being watched, the blacks.
Langston was regularly alluded to as the main organizer of jazz poetry. His mix of style reflected that of the Blues music. Hughes bended jazz to forms of music and turned its relevance to new heights with his unique taste of style and passion for the work. Hughes has cemented his legacy as one of the most involved all around great minds of his generation. Jazz Poetry was driven by many innovators, one of the most important being Langston Hughes. Hughes was not part of the common jazz enthusiasts. Jazz poetry was an art which Hughes used to express his emotions about the struggle of the common black man in America. At an opportune time, Hughes’ affection for the music discovered its way to make impact, offering popularity and attention to the combination sort known as jazz. Hughes felt that jazz verse could be a particularly African-American artistic form of expression, similar to jazz itself. His goal was to keep jazz distinguishable from white poetry for purposes of individual identity. Hughes would often reflect jazz in his traditional poetry with similar reading patterns to jazz. When he expounded on jazz, Hughes frequently consolidated unusual yet unique rhythms and creative dialect in order to create a new wave of music jazz. Langston Hughes will dependably be an essential figure in the Jazz type. The unique form of his ballads frequently captured the hearts of the African American community in Harlem. With his works of art and writing, he could express his very own social personality and social issues which stuck close to his heart.
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