Langston Hughes: Poems

Langston Hughes is one of the most popular writers during the reconstruction Harlem Renaissance period. He incorporates "rhythms of African-American music into his poetry and the creation of an authentic black folk speaker"(2098). His insight in different areas of the Great Depression, World War II, black discrimination and other historical events had let Hughes become a great writer. He usually expresses himself through these events with poetry. By writing poetry, he expressed the concept of equality, opportunity, justice, and liberty. Since Hughes is black, he is far more able to sympathize and resonate with the feeling in the crisis of black suffrage.

The section of Langston Hughes' poetry contains The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Mother to Son, I, Too, Mulatto, Song for a Dark Girl, Silhouette, Visitors to the Black Belt, Note on Commercial Theatre, and Democracy. These poems trace the African American from his ancestral origins to his recent existence in the South, reinforces the idea that living conditions for African Americans in the twentieth century were not easy, how Africa Americans wanted to be citizens, the situation with mulatto who were mixed children (half black, half white), African American romantic values, attitudes of southern Whites toward a Black man having an intimate relationship with a White woman, the attitude of urban African Americans toward outsiders, resentment that Blacks felt toward the Anglo's perversion of their own blues and spiritual art forms, and finally, the need for equality within black society. Hughes' poems express vividly different black sentiments, hopes, aspirations and pride; but most of all, these poems show one unifying thread, one origin: the need for more equal treatment between races, especially in the South where slavery was traditionally considered normal or even beneficial to both races. (Belinda Chow)

A Research Brief:Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance
by Belinda Chow

Research Brief on Democracy and Visitors to the Black Belt
by David B Freeman

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