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Research Paper on "Langston Hughes" Langston Hughes (1902 1967) is an American poet, short story writer, playwright, novelist and columnist. His name is associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes was born in a small town Joplin, Missouri. He spent almost all his childhood in Lawrence, Kansas. During his youth the poet travelled across the Middle West and South America. He attended Columbia University (New York), but had to leave the university because of racial prejudice. Hughes worked a wide range of jobs, beginning serving as a crewman aboard the S.S.
Malone, traveled to West Africa and Europe, and worked as a teacher of mathematics in Mexico. The poet first debuted in The Crisis in 1921, with the work The Negro Speaks of Riversbecame his signature poem. This poem appeared in his first book of poetry, under the name "The Weary Blues" and was published in 1926: I've known rivers: I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. His "The Weary Blues" made Langston Hughes famous among literary Americans. After he received B.A.
degree in Lincoln University in London (1929), he started to earn his living as a writer, and this was the beginning of his brilliant literary career. In his amazingly touching works the poet portrayed the life of ordinary blacks in America with idiomatic realism. Some of his books won medals and awards. For example, "Not Without Laughter" (1930) has brought the author the Harmon gold medal for literature (Hutson and Nelson 96). One of his plays, "Mulatto", opened on Broadway in 1935. In addition to his poetry and writing, Langston Hughes was giving lectures in colleges and schools, and talked to the talented black young people, encouraging them to write their own poems and novels. Vachel Lindsay played an incredibly important role in Langston Hughes destiny.
Vachel Lindsay was dining in the restaurant at the Wardman Park Hotel, where Langston Hughes worked as a busboy. According to the anecdote, Langston Hughes dropped his poems almost into the dinner plate of the famous poet. Lindsay liked the style of Langston Hughes and included some of them into his poetry reading. In this way the discovery of a great black poet took place. The poet placed great emphasis on the importance of African roots and African culture and considered that the renewal could come only from the understanding of African roots: "My old man died in a fine big house. My ma died in a shack. I wonder where I'm gonna die, Being neither white nor black?" (from 'Cross') Langston Hughes wrote poems, anthologies, translated poems written by Gabriella Mistral and Garcia Lorca.
His writing was mostly inspired by the language and rhythms of the black people and black church, and the jazz and blues of his era (Berry 150). The poet considered that blues and jazz were the only true musical expression of the black spirit. The vast majority of his poems and plays were written in a blues style. The structure of his poems is a traditional African American song, and, as the poet noted, the bitterness in blues is not softened by tears, but in contrast, it is sharpened by laughter. This laughter is a contradictory laughter of grief that appears when there is no belief the person can rely on. Although his poems may seem too primitive, the content of them produces an unforgettable impression. Hughes poems confront racial stereotypes, they show the protest against social conditions and expand African Americas image of itself.
Through his poems Langston Hughes appears as a peoples poet, the man, who wanted to reeducate his audience and to lift the theory of the black aesthetic into reality: The night is beautiful, So the faces of my people. The stars are beautiful, So the eyes of my people Beautiful, also, is the sun. Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people. The poet published a lot of books, such as Montage of a dream deferred (with his famous poem Harlem), some autobiographical books (The Big Sea (1940), and I Wonder As I Wander (1956)). Jesse B. Semple, or Simple, a popular comic character, created by Langston Hughes became a favorite character in the New York Post and The Chicago Defender.
In the last collection, "Simples Uncle Sam (1965), Langston Hughes wrote: My mama should have named me Job instead of Jesse B. Semple. I have been underfed, underpaid, undernourished, and everything but undertaken - yet I am still here. The only thing I am afraid of now - is that I will die before my time. (Langston Hudges (1902-1967)) Langston Hughes life was an endless process of evolution. He stressed the importance of cultural nationalism and racial consciousness. He wanted to unite the people of African descent all over the world, and inspired pride in their black folk culture.
Hughes was, probably, one of the few poets, who treated racial consciousness as the source of inspiration for the black people. Works Cited Berry, Faith. Langston Hughes: Before and Beyond Harlem. In On the Cross of the South. Citadel Press, 1982. Hutson, Jean Blackwell and Jill Nelson.
"Remembering Langston." Essence magazine (1992): 96. Langston Hudges (1902-1967). 5 March 2008 ..
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