Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He is best known as the leader of the Harlem Renaissance and is famous for writing about the period when black was in vogue. His first novel, “Not Without Laughs”, makes use of the tension over money and other family problems found in Carrie Hughes's letters. Hughes had a complex relationship with his parents.
The conflict between becoming a writer and being a normal worker created tension in his family. His mother, Mary Patterson Langston, instilled in him a lasting sense of racial pride through African-American oral tradition and based on the activist experiences of her generation. A new book, My Dear Boy, edited by John Edgar Tidwell and Carmaletta Williams, sheds new light on the writings of Langston Hughes. The authors examined a set of some 130 letters that Carrie Hughes sent to her son Langston between 1926 and 1938.These letters are in the Langston Hughes Papers collection of the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Yale University.
Williams believes that Mother to Son represents more closely Hughes's relationship with his grandmother, Mary Leary Langston. Charles Langston moved to Kansas, where he actively participated as an educator and activist for the vote and rights of African Americans. In 1931, Prentiss Taylor and Langston Hughes created Golden Stair Press, which published portfolios and books with works of art by Prentiss Taylor and texts by Langston Hughes.After his parents' separation, while his mother was traveling in search of employment, the young Langston was raised primarily by his maternal grandmother Mary Patterson Langston in Lawrence, Kansas. American author Langston Hughes expressed the mind and spirit of most African Americans for nearly half a century.It is clear that Langston Hughes had a complex relationship with his parents.
His mother instilled in him a lasting sense of racial pride which he carried throughout his life. The letters between them shed light on their relationship during a time when he was studying at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and later became a writer and lived in New York.