Hughes wrote a manifesto called “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”, which was published in 1926, in the Nation. Here Hughes describes his views for a new direction in black literature and arts. He urges black intellectuals and artists to break away from the standards that the white society set for them. Hughes emphasized the theme that black is beautiful and that we should not be afraid to be ourselves. The first paragraph within “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” grabs the readers attention and reveals Hughes stand of keeping and taking pride of the black culture and uniqueness.
One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, "I want to be a poet--not a Negro poet," meaning, I believe, "I want to write like a white poet"; meaning subconsciously, "I would like to be a white poet"; meaning behind that, "I would like to be white." And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself. And I doubted then that, with his desire to run away spiritually from his race, this boy would ever be a great poet. But this is the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art in America--this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial