Langston Hughes: The Harlem Renaissance

Langston Hughes: The Harlem Renaissance

Langston Hughes: The Harlem Renaissance

Langston Hughes: The Harlem Renaissance

Synopsis

"A biography of writer Langston Hughes that describes his era, his major works--especially his most famous and influential prose and poetry, his life, and and the legacy of his writing"--Provided by publisher.

Excerpt

"I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother."

(Langston Hughes, "I, Too," from Collected Poems, 46)

LANCSTON HUGHES IS ONE OF THE MOST honored names in twentieth-century American and African-American poetry. His reputation is nearly synonymous with the Harlem Renaissance cultural movement, which began around 1919 and witnessed the flowering of new literary, musical, and artistic talents by a generation of extraordinary AfricanAmerican artists.

Hughes came on the scene early. He was just nineteen and beginning college at Columbia University when his first major poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," was published in Crisis magazine. Although Hughes enjoys a considerable reputation today as one of the most widely read African-American poets of the twentieth century, he fell in and out of the public's favor during his forty years of writing. His dedication to promoting the blues as a poetic form, for instance, displeased many African Americans who considered the blues an expression of the most low-down and least flattering segment of the race. At least one of Hughes's poems, "Goodbye, Christ," which he intended as a critique of Christian hypocrisy, threatened his career years after it was published. Ultimately, its misinterpretation as an anti-Christian propaganda poem led to Hughes having to testify—to his profound embarrassment—before the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He faced charges of . . .

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