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Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Langston Hughes was first recognized as an important literary figure during the s, a period known as the "Harlem Renaissance" because of the number of emerging black writers.
It is, however, as an individual poet, not as a member of a new and interesting literary group, or as a spokesman for a race that Langston Hughes must stand or fall. In his autobiographical The Big Sea, Hughes commented: The Negro critics and many of the intellectuals were very sensitive about their race in books.
In anything that white people were likely to read, they wanted to put their best foot forward, their politely polished and cultural foot—and only that foot. Bad enough to have white authors holding up our imperfections to public gaze.
Our aim ought to be [to] present to the general public, already misinformed both by well meaning and malicious writers, our higher aims and aspirations, and our better selves. But I did not see how they could expect every Negro author to write such books.
Certainly, I personally knew very few people anywhere who were wholly beautiful and wholly good. But they seemed to me good people, too. Fuller commented that Hughes "chose to identify with plain black people—not because it required less effort and sophistication, but precisely because he saw more truth and profound significance in doing so.
Perhaps in this he was inversely influenced by his father—who, frustrated by being the object of scorn in his native land, rejected his own people. The elder Hughes came to feel a deep dislike and revulsion for other American blacks.
Serious white critics ignored him, less serious ones compared his poetry to Cassius Clay doggerel, and most black critics only grudgingly admired him. Some, like James Baldwin, were downright malicious about his poetic achievement. He had the wit and intelligence to explore the black human condition in a variety of depths, but his tastes and selectivity were not always accurate, and pressures to survive as a black writer in a white society and it was a miracle that he did for so long extracted an enormous creative toll.
Although Hughes had trouble with both black and white critics, he was the first black American to earn his living solely from his writing and public lectures. Part of the reason he was able to do this was the phenomenal acceptance and love he received from average black people.
A reviewer for Black World noted in Before he was twelve years old he had lived in six different American cities. When his first book was published, he had already been a truck farmer, cook, waiter, college graduate, sailor, and doorman at a nightclub in Paris, and had visited Mexico, West Africa, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Holland, France, and Italy.
As David Littlejohn observed in his Black on White: There [was] no noticeable sham in it, no pretension, no self-deceit; but a great, great deal of delight and smiling irresistible wit. He seems to speak for millions, which is a tricky thing to do. Semple shortened to Simple.The Harlem Renaissance from to was a flowering of African-American literature and art.
Based in the African-American community of Harlem in New York City, it was part of a larger flowering of social thought and regardbouddhiste.comus Black artists, musicians and others produced classic works in fields from jazz to theater; the renaissance . James Mercer Langston Hughes was a Harlem Renaissance leader who is revered to this day as a columnist, playwright, activist, novelist, and poet of incredible contributions to American literature, and he is now considered one of the foremost commenters on the Harlem Renaissance and a pioneer of Jazz.
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Sep 17, · Harlem Renaissance is also known as the period of renaissance and development of lack art and writing in the United States. Literature was used as a means of promoting and projecting the realities of social oppression that African-Americans felt at the time. accuplacer essay sample We have got a dbq, essays on culture and critical essays on this essay writing are graphic declarations of the harlem renaissance.
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