Contributions Of Langston Hughes

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African-American history in America was a prominent issue that was rarely written about; that is, until Langston Hughes came along. Called a pioneer of his time, Hughes gave insight to the struggles of working-class Black America through poems, novels, and many other styles of writing. Noted as being the first to incorporate the structure and rhythm of blues and jazz music in his writing, Hughes revolutionized the way we view poetry. Still to this day, Hughes is such a huge influence on writers of all different backgrounds. Not only has Hughes made a monumental impact on other people, there were many things and people that had an impact on him as well. Langston Hughes’s family, childhood, other authors, and the common experience of black America …show more content…
His maternal grandparents, Mary Patterson Langston and Charles Henry Langston, probably had the most prominent impact on his views of the African American race, which was the overall theme of his writing. His grandfather was an educator and activist for African American rights, which indirectly shaped his grandson’s perspective on the matter. Also, at a young age, his grandmother instilled a sense of dignity in race and heritage, which continued to sculpt his opinion. She taught him the importance of determination and perseverance. In Hughes’s autobiography, The Big Sea, he says, “Through my grandmother’s stories always life moved, moved heroically toward an end. Nobody cried in my grandmother’s stories. They worked, or schemed, or fought.... Something about my grandmother’s stories (without her ever having said so) taught me the uselessness of crying about anything.” (Hughes 17). He tells in his autobiography how proud she was and he really admired that. Within the Hughes family, another influence was his father. James Hughes, who was incredibly racist, was living in Mexico when his son came to visit in 1920. Langston Hughes wanted reassurance from his father of his writing career, but instead the idea was shot down. Discouraged and depressed, Hughes left Mexico and on his trip home wrote his most famous poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” at a mere seventeen years …show more content…
Thanks to his grandmother, he was very prideful of his ethnicity, although it was not exactly popular at the time. In general, Hughes wrote about the working-class African Americans; he addressed their struggles and also the joy in their lives. He wrote novels, poems, plays, and short stories, of which each of them told a different story and delivered a different message to the reader. Hughes was quoted saying, "My seeking has been to explain and illuminate the Negro condition in America and obliquely that of all human kind," meaning his goal was to shed light on the reality of racism in America and to specifically acknowledge the unfair treatment portrayed in the stories and how it is relevant in real life (Wikipedia.com). He felt he had to share the brutal reality of being ethnically different. Many of his writings showed a side of the truth that a lot of people didn’t know existed. Hughes wanted to share with all of his readers the pride and joy many African Americans have as well. Many people believed the lives of blacks were miserable and they all just bathed in self-pity, but in truth they were extremely exuberant, despite the poor treatment that they endured. Basically, Hughes wanted people to see the unequivocal reality of his

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