Langston Hughes (1901-1906) was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance in New York in the 1920s. He was a novelist, playwright, social activist, journalist, and most notably, a poet. His works gave an insight into the life experiences of African Americans in the United States during the 1920s to the 1960s. He is best remembered for his use of jazz rhythms and dialects that spoke powerfully to the common man.
Here is a look at some of his best works and contributions.An early innovator of the literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is famous for writing about the period when black was in vogue, which was later paraphrased as when Harlem was in vogue. He wrote “Me Too” following his experiences when trying to board a ship from Italy back to the United States in 1924; he was repeatedly overlooked by a place aboard numerous ships, while white sailors were greeted aboard. Racial inequality, then, is obviously a key theme in Hughes's poem.Today, Langston Hughes is remembered for his many works. One of his most famous poems is “The Dream Keeper”.
This book-sized work is not freely available on the Internet, but it is available in The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics). In this poem, Hughes interprets the real world with the ideal. The Pittsburgh Courier published a great headline at the top of the page, LANGSTON HUGHES'S BOOK OF TRASH POEMS.Another one of his most famous works is “I Dream a World”. This poem speaks to the idea of the American dream—the idea that anyone who lived or came to live in the United States could achieve prosperity, happiness, and success.
It was published in The Nation in 1926 and speaks to Hughes's belief that an artist should have freedom to choose what he does without fear.Langston Hughes was born James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902.His parents divorced when he was young and he moved with his maternal grandmother. When asked about his family history, Langston Hughes clarified that it was brown rather than black.Langston Hughes is also known for his contributions to journalism. He wrote for The Pittsburgh Courier and other publications about African American life and culture. He also wrote about his travels around the world.Langston Hughes is remembered for sparking a revolution with his works.
He wrote about racial inequality and gave an idea of what life was like for African Americans during this time period. His works are still relevant today and will continue to be remembered for years to come.