Langston Hughes' Poem The Weary Blues Essay

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Langston Hughes' Poem The Weary Blues

I. Introduction

Langston Hughes was deemed the "Poet Laureate of the Negro Race," a fitting title which the man who fueled the Harlem Renaissance deserved. But what if looking at Hughes within the narrow confines of the perspective that he was a "black poet" does not fully give him credit or fully explain his works? What if one actually stereotypes Hughes and his works by these over-general definitions that cause readers to look at his poetry expecting to see "blackness?" Any person's unique experiences in life and the sense of personal identity this forms most definitely affects the way he or she views the world. This molded view of the world can, in turn, be communicated by the person through
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From a young age, Hughes' was aware that he had a multicultural background, and this realization undoubtedly played a major role in forming his self-identity. Hughes inherited his mother's Indian, French, and African ancestry, and in his young years, Hughes was greatly influence by this side of his family. Similarly, Hughes' father's linage was multicultural African and European. Two of Hughes' paternal great-grandfathers were white; one was a Jewish slave trader and the other was a Georgian distiller. Due in part to this ancestry, in Hughes' adult years a friend observed that the author repeatedly used the theme "of the 'tragic mulatto,'" and Hughes eventually "admitted that he identified with such a doomed young man," (Rampersad 3). Throughout Hughes' childhood and young adulthood, he dealt with a variety of specific white and black ancestral and cultural influences, (Rampersad 1-30).

Hughes struggled with almost constantly changing surroundings and influences throughout his childhood years. His parents divorced shortly after Hughes was born, and his mother took her son from his birthplace in Missouri to his new home in Kansas, where young Hughes would live with his grandmother. Hughes spent most of his youngest years in Lawrence, Kansas, with his grandmother, who was active in the local African American community. Hughes grew up with both his grandmother's present involvement in African American affairs and also stories

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