Comparing Langston Hughes And The Harlem Renaissance

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Inspired by Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes is said to be the most popular and versatile of the many writers that were connected to the Harlem Renaissance. Though he was born in Joplin, Missouri, Hughes mainly lived in Kansas with his grandmother due to his parents being divorced. During his older years, he sporadically lived with his father and mother in Detroit and Cleveland (Reidhead 869). It was in Cleveland where he finished high school and picked up the art of poetry writing— little did he know; this would not be the end of his poetic journey. After high school, he became a student at Columbia University in 1920 where he only stayed one year. He then began traveling and drifting. He had a job as a seaman and busboy and all the while he was writing and publishing poetry in the two most important periodicals, Opportunity and the Crisis (Reidhead 870).…show more content…
Rarely did he experiment with language or attempt the interior monologues (Donald 299). Hughes is particularly known for his insightful and colorful portrayals of black life in America. Hughes refused to discriminate between his personal experience and the common experience of black America. He wanted to tell the stories of his people in ways that reflected their actual culture, including both their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and language itself ( Like Walt Whitman, Hughes heard America singing and emphasized his right to sing back in his works. Hughes also learned from Carl Sandburg’s efforts to work jazz into poetry. He dared not confuse his pride in his culture with gratification towards the material deficit of black life in America. His poems demanded that African Americans be acknowledged as the owners of the culture they gave to the United States and as fully enfranchised citizens (Reidhead

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