About Langston Hughes and his Poems

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After researching Langston Hughes, we can see many thoughts that inspired his poems. Although he touched on several different subjects, some strong thoughts came to light through his works. Setting is a key part of his poems as he lays the foundation for his thoughts and creativity. During the great migration in the 1900’s, when many African Americans moved from the south to the north, many went to a neighborhood in Manhattan, New York. Harlem was the birthplace of blues and jazz by African Americans. These influences created the Harlem renaissance, which was the visual arts, and theatrical movement that helped to create a new identify for African Americans. Langston Hughes was an accomplished poet who used his writing skills to help fight against racism since he was a young child and he was part of this movement

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James Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. His parents were James Hughes and Carrie Langston. They separated shortly after he was born. His father relocated to Mexico. Langston Hughes was raised primarily by his grandmother. His mother moved around a lot during his youth. When his grandmother died in his early teens, Langston went to live with his mother. They moved to several cities before settling in Cleveland, Ohio. During these times, is when Langston began to write poetry. He was introduced to poetry by one of his school teachers. The first poets he discovered were Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman. Hughes was a contributor to his school’s magazine. In addition to his high school magazine, he would also submit his poetry to other poetry magazines. His poetry was rejected many times

He wrote the poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers the summer after his graduation from high school in Cleveland. It was published in The Crisis in 1921. He enjoyed exploring Harlem after he was a student at Columbia University in New York City in 1921. During this time he formed an attachment to Harlem and he referred to as the great dark k city. In 1924 he met with the writers Arna Bontemps and Carl Van Vechten. Langston had a lifelong friendship with both. In 1925, Hughes won an Opportunity magazine poetry prize. During that same year, Van Vechten introduced Hughes’s poetry to the publisher Alfred A. Knopf. The Weary Blues was published in 1926 by Knopf.

In 1925, Hughes was working as a busboy in a hotel in Washington, D. C. He put three of his own poems beside the plate of Vachel Lindsay in the dining room. The next day, newspapers around the country reported that Lindsay, among the most popular white poets of the day, had discovered an African American busboy poet. This helped Hughes gain greater exposure. Langston Hughes received a scholarship to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in early 1926. He also received the Witter Bynner Undergraduate Poetry Award that same year. In addition to these accomplishments he published The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain in The Nation , a manifesto in which he called for a confident, uniquely black literature:

In 1929, Langston Hughes received his degree. He also helped launch the influential magazine Fire. Hughes had also published a second collection of poetry, called Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927); this was criticized for its title and for its boldness. Hughes thought it was an improvement in his writing.

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About Langston Hughes and his poems. (2019, Jul 26). Retrieved January 28, 2023 , from
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