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Langston Hughes: Contribution Towards The Harlem Renaissance (Term Paper Sample)



Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Date Langston Hughes Langston Hughes is an American poet, born in 1902. He also wrote novels and plays and encompassed an African-American theme. He is also known for his contribution towards the Harlem Renaissance in 1920. Coming from a background of multicultural personalities, his ancestry is a complex one. Growing up, Hughes moved a lot to various locations, due to his parents’ separations. While living with his maternal grandmother, Hughes got to experience the sense of pride resulting from his roots. The death of his grandmother saw him move to Lincoln to live with his mother, where he first expresses his writing talent. His first piece was on the stereotypes articulated to the African Americans. In high school, he wrote articles for the school newspaper and other of his short stories in poetry. His first influential jazz poetry piece “When Sue Wears Red” was written during his high school years. The Harlem Renaissance The year 1920 is known as the breakthrough year for Hughes. This was around the time when a movement is focusing on the availability of different cultures in the American environment. The movement sort to recognize the African American cultures inherent in the society. The African American individuals who were living in the states during this period sort to seek redemption form their slavery and to seek recognition as citizens of America (Hughes 388). This situation played an essential role in the provision of a platform for the development of the works of Hughes. Hughes wrote the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” and it received positive enthusiasm after its publication in the Crisis Magazine. While still studying at Columbia University, he participated in the movement, where he used his poetry to advance the concept of the African culture. This period also presented him with an opportunity to enhance and polish his poetry and creative thinking skills. It was also during this period that black writers emerged, to champion for their recognition and acceptance in the society (Hughes 388). They considered Hughes as a figure, who helped them voice their grievances through poetry. Du Bose Heyward recognized his efforts and his work, where he stated of the significant role played by Hughes in support of the Negro community. He stated Hughes work as being informed and phenomenal to the Negro population. He regarded Hughes as a writer to watch. However, regardless of these positive comments, Hughes was concerned about the negative attitude directed towards the blacks (Huh 210). His work received considerable criticism from the white newspapers regarding his work as trash and a minor disappointment to the poetry world. Other critics argued that they rarely understand the message he intended to communicate in his poems, while others stated that he sided with the blacks as a move of seeking pity from other communities. However, he was keen to respond to the critics by explaining his view and discontent of the negative attitudes directed towards the Negro community. The criticism did not deter him from exploring his interest in the nuances of the black life and the accompanying frustrations. Hughes became the first African American person to venture into a career that focused on writing. One of his influential work “Black World” received high acceptance from the two populations, with one reviewer considering it as an artwork that possesses great potential to compete with works done by the whites. His writing also advanced to take up more varied backgrounds. He related to the majority of people through the character of Jesse B. Semple, who was fictional character representing the daily toils of the black people. He developed the character to take up the life of a black individual, who lived in Harlem, an environment considered unsatisfactory by the whites. Simple expressed his discontent with the white folks, where he claimed they brought numerous inconveniences to the...
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