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Sheaira MaddenRough DraftOctober 29, 2018English 102Poetry Essay: Langston HughesJames Mercer Langston Hughes was one of the most influential African American poets in the 1900’s. His writings were unique, and they reflected his perspective on the lives of black people and their heritage. Throughout his poems he puts an emphasis on the struggles of African Americans in a system or society lead and created by white people. His poems are very relatable to African Americans and they inspire people all around the world. Hughes’s life experiences play a huge role in his writings. In the poems “Harlem”, “Mother to Son”, and “Madam and the Rent Man” Langston Hughes inspire the lives of African Americans who struggle against povertyand discrimination, but they also encourage the reader to never lose hope. Langston Hughes was not just an African American poet; he was also a social activist andnovelist from Joplin, Missouri. Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 and he died May 22, 1967.His parents separated after he was born, and he was raised by his grandmother, until she died. Living with his grandmother “had a profound influence on him because she passed on her love ofliterature and sense of social justice” (Zieger 1). Hughes began to embrace his love for poetry in his teens after his teacher introduced him to poetry by Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman. He wasinspired by what he read from them. Throughout his years of living he did a lot of traveling. After high school he went to Mexico to live with his father for a year. He was just graduating high school when he published his first poem called “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” in the Crisis magazine. He eventually came back to the United States where he studied at Columbia University and took part in the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was an
intellectual, social, and artistic cultural movement that took place in Harlem, New York during the 1920’s. Langston Hughes eventually dropped out of Columbia University and went to New York, Africa, Spain, and in 1924 he briefly lived in Paris. He then did some networking in Washington D.C. and those connections got him to win first prize in a magazine literary competition. He eventually attended Lincoln University and eventually got his first book of poetry to be published in 1926. After graduating from Lincoln in 1929 he started to pursue his