James Langston Hughes Biography English Literature Essay

Hughes was elected category poet while in 8th class. In 1918, he published his early verse forms and short narratives in Central High School ‘s monthly magazine. After graduating from “ Cardinal High as category poet and editor of the school one-year ” he moved to Mexico and lived with his male parent. In 1921, he published “ The Negro Speaks of Rivers ” in Crisis magazine. His male parent sponsored him and enrolled Hughes in Columbia University in New York. Unfortunately, he was unhappy and dropped out and broke ties with his male parent. He sailed to Western Africa and visited Senegal, the Gold Coast, Nigeria, the Congo and other states. In 1925, he lived in Washington. “ His verse form “ the Aweary Bluess ” won foremost prize in a competition sponsored by Opportunity magazine. ” This led to a book trade with Knopf. A twelvemonth subsequently, his first book “ The Aweary Bluess ” was published.

He enrolled at Lincoln University, a historically black university. In June of that twelvemonth, the Nation hebdomadal magazine published his landmark essay, “ The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain. ” Hughes graduated in 1929 from Lincoln University. In 1931, he traveled to Haiti where he published some of his work in the communist magazine New Masses. He so returned to the States and toured the Southern States conveying his poesy to his people. He besides visited some of the Scottsboro boys in an Alabama prison.

In 1932, he traveled to Russia with a group of “ immature African Americans to do a movie about race dealingss in the United States. ” However, the movie fell through and was non completed. He lived in Russia for two old ages and wrote his most extremist poetry “ Good Morning Revolution ” and “ Goodbye Christ. ”

After returning to the States in 1935, his drama “ Mulatto ” was turned into a Broadway production. Hughes was ferocious and clashed with the manufacturer because he made several unauthorised alterations to the book. Unhappy, he wrote “ Let America Be America Again. ” He continued composing dramas and in 1938 founded the extremist Harlem Suitcase Theater in New York. His first drama “ Do You Desire to Be Free? ” was staged.

In 1940, his autobiography “ The Big Sea ” was published. Hughes was picketed by a spiritual group over his extremist verse form “ Goodbye Christ ” because it mocked faith and the priests that oversaw and allegedly accused them of working Christ for their personal addition.

In 1944, the FBI started to look into him over his former radicalism. In 1948, he was erroneously denounced as a Communist by the United States Senate. “ In March of 1953, ” Hughes was “ forced to attest before Senator Joseph McCarthy ‘s subcommittee on insurgent activities, Hughes is exonerated after disowning his past radicalism. ”

In 1961, he was inducted into the National Institute of Arts and Letters. A twelvemonth subsequently, he began composing a hebdomadal column for the New York Post. He besides wrote and published “ Fight for Freedom: the Story of the NAACP ” which was commissioned by the organisation. His musical drama “ Jericho-Jim Crow ” was staged in Greenville Village. It was a testimonial to the civil rights motion.

On May 22, 1967, Hughes dies at New York Polyclinic Hospital following prostate surgery. Later that twelvemonth, his two concluding literary plants were published “ The Panther and the Lash: Poems of Our Time ” ( Knopf ) and “ Black Magic: A Pictorial History of the Negro in American Entertainment ” ( Prentice Hall ) .

Literary bookmans have criticized his work over the old ages. They criticized his usage of “ controversial ” words to direct a message of place against dogmatism and unfairness. Harmonizing to Calvin Hernton ‘s critical essay, Hughes ‘s verse form “ Blue Bayou ” is more than what would be considered as a protest verse form. “ Blue Bayou ” is a folk-work-song, ballad-blues-spiritual of the black southern peasantry. ”

Hernton further explains that Hughes shows the world of inkinesss in the South at the clip. Langston Hughes was direct with his poesy and made declaratory statements. Hernton disagrees with other critics who have below the belt labeled Hughes work like “ Blue Bayou ” as protest verse form.

One of his first verse form was “ The Negro Speaks of Rivers ” which was his description of all the awful topographic points where slaves were sold off. Hughes associated black life with the great rivers of Africa, North America, the Euphrates, the Congo, the Nile, and the Mississippi. Hernton uses Hughes verse form “ Negro ” as an illustration.

Hernton felt that Hughes made it clear in his work that “ the African Americans were entitled to and sought the American dream ” merely like everyone else. Hernton used two of Hughes ‘s verse form ( “ Freedom Train ” and “ I, Too ) to show this theory.

Matt Longabucco in his critical essay stated that “ The Negro Speaks of Rivers ” came at a perfect clip. The Harlem Renaissance of African American music and humanistic disciplines rose and centered itself on Harlem and wind. This was the consequence of the addition in African American migration from the Jim Crow South to the North.

It created an inflow of white partisans who flooded the cabarets in Harlem and paid attending to black literature. Unfortunately, it cause biass as some creative persons had to portray African Americans in a stereotyped manner that white audiences expected. Langston Hughes took advantage and through his words portrayed his people as they truly are and continued to make so throughout his life.

Harmonizing to James de Jongh, Hughes scribbled “ The Negro Speaks of Rivers ” on an envelope while sitting in a train header to Mexico to pass another summer with his male parent. De Jongh focused his composing on Hughes ‘s literary usage of topographic point. He points out that “ Hughes claimed aˆ¦ embracing “ downriver, ” the term for all the awful topographic points in the lower South to which slaves were sold off, “ the riverbank ” one of the comparative safe oasiss and sites of opposition within the sphere of the plantation itself and “ over Jordan, ” the waving frontier of freedom seeable from inside the bounds of captivity and expatriate. ” he farther stated that Hughes was “ basically a poet, a fecund author who turned his endowments with greater or lesser success to a multiplicity of other genres over clip but on whose career ( his naming as an creative person ) was poesy. ” De Jongh went on to province that Hughes ‘s work was perceived with lucidity and coherency of his position of himself as an African American citizen-poet. De Jongh goes on to discourse “ I, Too ” . in this verse form, Hughes identifies himself with the American poet, Walt Whitman, and claimed to be the function and voice of America.

Arnold Rampersad describes Hughes as “ a black author confronting racism on a day-to-day footing, he had a unusually precise sense of graduated table, every bit good as an divine cognition of the words and beat of address that would outdo convey his messages to inkinesss and Whites likewise. ” He farther indicated that the cardinal facet of Hughes ‘s work was political protest. He was brief and to the point.

The plants mentioned are merely a really little per centum of his inspirational and extremist plants. He continues to act upon his people and supply the motive to travel frontward towards equality. He was non afraid to show his extremist positions. To obtain the attending of the NAACP and the federal authorities clearly shows that he had and continues to act upon those around him even after his decease. In his ain words, he stated “ A poet is a human being. Each human being must populate within his clip, with and for his people, and within the boundaries of his state. Hang yourself, poet, in your ain words. Otherwise, you are dead. ”