Langston Hughes Impact on an Era

Essay by zachfarisHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2005

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Langston Hughes contributed a tremendous influence on black culture throughout the United States during the era known as the Harlem Renaissance. He is usually considered to be one of the most prolific and most-recognized black poets of the Harlem Renaissance. He broke through barriers that very few black artists had done before this period. Hughes was presented with a great opportunity with the rise black art during the 1920's and by his creative style of poetry, which used black culture as its basis and still appealed to all ethnicities.

Until the Harlem Renaissance, poetry and literature were dominated by white people and were all about white culture. However, during the 1920's, there was an explosion of black literature and, art poured from black artists and activists who represented black pride and individuality from the white dominance ("The Harlem Renaissance, Washington..." Online). This movement was sparked in the lower and upper Manhattan sections of New York City.

Originally known as the New Negro Movement, it later became known as the Harlem Renaissance due to where it was birthed and seemed to be the area that it burned the most intense. One of the reasons why there was a rise in black culture in the Harlem area is due to the great migration of blacks to Northern cities during the early 1920's. Racial discrimination, segregation, and interracial tension were also contributing factors to the Harlem Renaissance. Blacks were tired of being part of white America and wanted to break free and express not only black pride but, black culture as well. Langston Hughes emerged as one of the front men of the black movement of expression and art through the use of his poetic writing ("Harlem Renaissance" Online).

Hughes wrote novels, plays, short stories, essays, and children's books but, he focused...