20150227_Rodney_ESSAY2815922.edited - Rodney Thompson...

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Rodney Thompson English 2 Prof France Coley 1 March 2015 Langston Hughes “Democracy” One tends to feel inspired, and energetically charged when reading any work by the great Langston Hughes. Some of the subject maters he writes are freedom, equality, justice, renaissance, empowerment and perseverance. He amplifies his voice and beliefs through his works which are firmly rooted in race pride and race feeling. His writing commitment both life and his writing were mainly about African Americans. His early love for the “wonderful world of books” was sparked by loneliness and parental neglect. His influences were Walt Whitman, Paul Laurence, and Carl Sandburg. His talent, character, and willpower came from life experiences. His grandmother and great uncle John Mercer Langston who was a famous African-American Abolitionist were his two biggest influences (Moore 155). Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) is a poet, novelist, playwright and American writer of the 20th century. His fame is due in large part to his involvement in the so- called Harlem Renaissance cultural movement that shook Harlem in the 1920s. His real name is James Mercer Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin Missouri of a teacher, Carrie Langston Hughes, and James Nathaniel Hughes. After his parents’ divorce, the father of Langston emigrated first to Cuba and then to Mexico because of the racism he suffered in the United States. After the separation of his parents, the young Langston left the family home to live with one of his grandmother, Mary Langston in Lawrence Kansas. Mary greatly insists Langston on the racial pride of black people. After the death of his grandmother, he moved in with family friends, James and Mary Reed for two years. This period in the life of Langston turns not so happy, although it will significantly influence the poet in the making, due to a troubled life.
Later, he joined his mother, who has meanwhile remarried in Lincoln, Illinois and then he finally moved to Cleveland Ohio where he will follow his secondary educations (Moore 160). At his school in Cleveland, L. Hughes participated in the student newspaper and wrote his first news, poetry, and plays. During that period, he discovered his love for books. In 1919, L. Hughes joined his father in Mexico City for a short period. During that time, there was a lot of tension between the two men and Langston attempted suicide several times. . Hughes wanted to be a writer, but his father wanted him to be an engineer thus creating the tension between the two. His father was impressed after some of his poetry was accepted in the Brownies Book and Crisis magazines (Academy of American Poets).

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