Harlem Renaissance is the name given to the period from the end of World War I and through the middle of the 1930s Depression, during which a group of talented African-American writers produced a sizable body of literature in genres of poetry, fiction, drama, and essay. Among these writers was Langston Hughes, who was considered to be the voice of African Americans during this time period.
Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, but lived with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas until he was thirteen and then with his mother in Lincoln, Illinois and Cleveland, Ohio where he went to high school. Langston Hughes began writing in high school, and even at this early age was developing the voice that made him famous. During the time Hughes lived with his grandmother, however, she was old and poor and unable to give Hughes the attention he needed. This as well as not knowing why he couldn’t live with his parents caused him to grow up insecure.
When Langston Hughes’s grandmother died, his mother brought him to live with her at her home in Lincoln, Illinois, he wrote his first verse and was named class poet of his eighth grade class. Soon after, His writing talent was recognized by his high school teachers and classmates, and Hughes had his first pieces of verse published in the Central High Monthly, the school magazine. Soon he was on the staff of the Monthly, and publishing in the magazine regularly. An English teacher introduced him to poets such as Carl Sandburg and Walk Whitman, and these became Hughes’ earliest influences.
... see how we have changed from middle school to high school, and can see the many distinctions between ... dogs disguised as soup. Contrary to middle school, in high school, students are granted much more freedom. ... , a gateway to young adulthood. Middle school and High school, two very important times of a young ... more work and more responsibilities. For students, high school is a sink or swim moment, and ...
During the Harlem Renaissance Hughes contributed a tremendous influence on black culture throughout the United State. He broke through barriers that very few black artists had done before this period. Hughes creative style of poetry, which used black culture as its basis still appealed to all ethnicities. One of Hughes’ most acclaimed essays appeared in the Nation in 1926, entitled “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”. It spoke of Black writers and poets, “who would surrender racial pride in the name of a false integration,” where a talented Black writer would prefer to be considered a poet, not a Black poet, which to Hughes meant he subconsciously wanted to write like a white poet. Hughes argued, “no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself.” In Langston Hughes’s poetry, he uses the rhythms of African American music, particularly blues and jazz. This sets his poetry apart from that of other writers, and it allowed him to experiment with a very rhythmic free verse. He wrote sixteen books of poems, two novels, three collections of short stories, four volumes of “editorial” and “documentary” fiction, twenty plays, children’s poetry, musicals and operas, three autobiographies, a dozen radio and television scripts and dozens of magazine articles. In addition, he edited seven anthologies. Langston Hughes died of cancer on May 22, 1967. His residence at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem, New York has been given landmark status by the New York City Preservation Commission. His block of East 127th Street was renamed “Langston Hughes Place”.