Hughes lets the reader know about historic experiences of blacks to show us the impact that blacks have had in past eras. Hughes has made his poem more understandable by the use of such elements as setting and situation, speaker, tone and diction, images, and symbols. The first example is a situation that has taken place in Africa; the second in the United States.
Remembered primarily as a pioneer of jazz poetry, Hughes also wrote several plays, novels, short stories and essays. The central argument of his essay is coloured by class-based antagonisms.
Upper and middle class blacks have distanced themselves from their African heritage because of their upbringing and thus have an appreciation of white culture over black culture.
Hughes recounts two anecdotes to demonstrate this. From these isolated experiences, Hughes makes critical inferences about middle and upper class black Americans and how they view their own race.
In middle-class homes, the children are taught to hold themselves superior to those of their race with less education, money and social status. This remains an issue in contemporary discussions on the relationship between race and culture. Hughes criticised his Harlem Renaissance peers for writing in a way that pandered to white aesthetic values.
Over half a century later, musicians were being judged according to race-based expectations.
Claude McKay was another prominent Harlem writer who saw the working class as possessing a greater, more authentic black culture notably in his seminal novel Home to Harlemwhich focuses on the grimier, working class side of Harlem. Each one wanted to be the first Negro, the one Negro and the only Negro for the whites instead of for the group.
It serves as an effective portrayal of the complexities and conflicts between the different artistic circles of the movement.
In addition, the essays represents a turning point for Hughes.During the twenties when most American poets were turning inward, writing obscure and esoteric poetry to an ever decreasing audience of readers, Hughes was turning outward, using language and themes, attitudes and ideas familiar to anyone who had the ability simply to read.
Langston Hughes was first recognized as an important literary figure during the s, a period known as the "Harlem Renaissance" because . The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, Knopf, The Collected Works of Langston Hughes (18 volumes), University of Missouri Press, , OTHER (With Bontemps) Arna Bontemps-Langston Hughes Letters: , edited by Charles H.
Nichols, Dodd, (With Zora Neale Hurston) Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life (play), HarperCollins, Hughes's poetry, like jazz and blues, has a distinct and expressive tone, often depicting tales of sorrow, alienation, and loneliness. The American Dream Many of Langston Hughes’s poems invoke the theme of the American Dream.
The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain by Langston Hughes – Essay Example Langston Hughes is a prominent essayist, playwright, novelist, poet, anthologist and translator of Spanish poetry. His literary heritage consists of more than 50 works. During the twenties when most American poets were turning inward, writing obscure and esoteric poetry to an ever decreasing audience of readers, Hughes was turning outward, using language and themes, attitudes and ideas familiar to anyone who had the ability simply to read. The Negro Speaks of Rivers" connects the soul of the African-American community to four great rivers in the Middle East, Africa, and America. "As I Grow Older" It was a long time ago.
When Langston Hughes was writing "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," he was most influenced by the work of Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman. He particularly cited Whitman's “Song of Myself” as an inspiration for the longer lines in “Negro.”.
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, – May 22, ) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain", Hughes's poetry was frequently published in the CPUSA newspaper and he was involved in initiatives supported by Communist organizations, Born: James Mercer Langston Hughes, February 1, , Joplin, Missouri, U.S.