The Harlem Renaissance, By Langston Hughes

1482 Words 6 Pages
The Harlem Renaissance was a movement of social and artistic advancement that defined an era for African-Americans, not only in the United States, but around the world. The movement also laid the foundations for an entirely different future for African-Americans living in the United States. However, this racial progress would not have been possible without the imaginative genius that grew from writers, poets, and playwrights within the African-American communities. Among these historic figures was the “O. Henry of Harlem” (New York Times, 1967), Langston Hughes, accomplished poet, novelist, playwright, essayist and an all-around artistic master. Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance that overtook African-American communities in the 1920s, creating and popularizing some of the common themes of the era. His writing also reached different people across the United States and the globe, expanding the boundaries of the …show more content…
This mission is apparent in one of his landmark works, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” where Hughes criticized the unconscious racial bias in both white people and black people as being more favorable towards white, a race and, summarily, a word that “comes to be unconsciously a symbol of all virtues” (31). Here, Hughes attempts to change the African-American mindset and its accustomed manner of associating white with virtuosity by championing African-American as well as African merits and heritage, especially Black beauty. Hughes calls for black readers to break free from their chains and embrace the qualities of being black, along with the distinctive experience of what is the “racial world” (Hughes, 36). This work, essential to understanding the message of Langston Hughes, promotes the idea of self-determination among artists in the African-American community (Scott,

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