Langston Hughes Poetry

904 Words4 Pages
The 1920s was a revolutionary decade in the United States as it marked the beginning of an age of consumerism, lifestyle extravagance and the birth of modern African American music and literature. In the 1920s cities like Chicago and New York came into full bloom with the construction of skyscrapers and the migration of millions of African Americans from rural states to major American Cities. Neighborhoods like Harlem became the cultural and artistic epicenter of the decade and most importantly the heart of an intellectual, social and artistic explosion, the Harlem Renaissance.
Through this movement, African American music and African American literature became widely welcomed and enjoyed by Americans from different races and social classes.
…show more content…
Through his poetry, he depicted the African American experience in a country that was still very segregated and race oriented. He drew attention to the joys and struggles the African American life entailed. His work was not only incredibly influential at the time but had a huge impact on the decades that were to come.

Langston Hughes’ poems and writings contributed directly to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in which thousands of protests were mounted with the goal to end legalized racial segregation and discrimination laws in the United States. His poem “Harlem” which will be analyzed below, inspired Martin Luther King, one of the most influential voices and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to give his speech “I Have a Dream."

Langston Hughes also inspired other African American authors like Claude Mckay, Ralph Ellison, and Richard Wright to write about their own and others’ experiences on being African American from different perspectives and different
…show more content…
Most of them were forced to make their living by working in the agricultural industry as part of the sharecropping system, which offered little in the way of economic opportunity and growth. On the verge of World War I the United States Government set forth its claims, instilled patriotism in African Americans soldiers and called upon African American civilians to devote their labor and earnings to the cause. According to Dirk Hoerder’s American Labor and Immigration History, 1877-1920s: Recent European Research, this gave African Americans a sense of unity with the white population and sense relevance and representation in the country. Due to the war shortage of labor a quarter million African Americans left their former slave states for the better social, political and economic conditions the North had to offer. For the first time since emancipation, they found themselves free to sell their labor on the open market for a decent and livable wage and they had the chance to vote in a real and decisive way. This influx of tens of thousands of African Americans into northern states is called the Great
Open Document