Langston Hughes


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  • TALK ABOUT:Father left for cuba to escape racism in americapassed around between family members.Began writing poetry in 8th grade. Selected as Class Poet.
  • Spent time with father in mexico for one year 1919Worked lots of different jobs: worked in nightclub. Worked as a busboy. Wrote poetry while working and travelingWent to places like angola, spain, russia, belgium, congo, nigeria, france, italy
  • great depression: brought an end to a lot of African American literature but Hughes was already a public figureSoviet Union: Hughes was drawn to Communism because it supported racial justice. Went to soviet union to observe.Langston Hughes believed in using his art to get across his feelings about politics and injustice. He traveled to other countries to learn how they dealt with racial issues.Spanish Civil War: traveled to spain as a correspondent during the warSenator and FBI: testified before Senator Joseph McCarthy FBI listed him as a security risk till 1959- b/c of his connection with McCarthy and communism
  • Hughes’s poems demanded that African Americans be acknowledged as owners of the culture they gave to the U.S. and as fully enfranchised American citizensHe modeled his stanza forms on the rhythms of jazz music and adapted the vocab of everyday black speech to poetryHughes was friendly with people from all walks of life, the rich, the middle class and the poor, it was the people he called the "low-down folks" who had the greatest influence on his poetry. Hughes supported booker t washington when other writers of the time didn’t. he wrote poetry supporting many of washingtons ideasThe Weary Blues was the first volume of poems (1926) With its diction, its repetition of lines and its inclusion of blues lyrics, the poem evokes the mournful tone and tempo of blues music and gives readers an appreciation of the state of mind of the blues musician in the poem. Carl Van Vechten (white patron of African American writing) helped get The Weary Blues published.Hughes was considered a Renaissance man, someone who has wide interests and is talented in many areas. Jazz and blues were key elements of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, a time when African Americans in a section of New York City started a movement to celebrate their culture
  • One of his favorite pastimes whether abroad or in Washington D.C. or Harlem, New York was sitting in the clubs listening to blues, jazz, and writing poetryHughes said this music was sung by "black, beaten but unbeatable throats." In 1958, Hughes recorded his poetry to the accompaniment of the music of jazz and blues artists such as Charles MingusThe famous Henry "Red" Allen Band accompanied Hughes in a 1958 poetry recording. The rhythms of jazz also influenced his 1951 Montage of a Dream Deferred. This was a book-length poem in five sections depicting the African American urban experience using music, poetry, and history.. Hughes wrote his first play, Mule Bone, with ZoraNeale Hurston in 1930 and kept writing for the stage the rest of his lifeIn the 1940s Hughes established a theatre troupe in Los Angles and wrote several screenplays. Hughes in 1943 gave creative birth to Jesse B. Semple an everyday black man in Harlem who offered his thoughts on different topics or issues of the day.
  • Honorary Literature Degree from Lincoln UniversityHonorary Doctorate from Howard UniversityGuggenheim Fellowship in 1935Awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission took over his Harlem Home
  • His residence at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem, New York has been given landmark status by the New York City Preservation commission. His block of East 127th Street was renamed “Langston Hughes Place”Hughes died on May 22, 1967 from complications from abdominal surgery. His ashes lay in Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (in Harlem).
  • Langston Hughes

    1. 1. LANGSTON HUGHES<br />
    2. 2. Early Years <br />Born: Joplin Missouri 1902<br />Parents separated<br />Early childhood spent in Lawrence Kansas with maternal grandmother<br />Attended Central High School in Cleveland Ohio<br />Columbia University – 1 year <br />
    3. 3. Travel<br />Bad relationship with father.<br />Worked in Paris and Washington D.C.<br />Traveled abroad on a freight and shipped out as a merchant seaman.<br />Attended Lincoln University<br />Was supported by patrons in NYC <br />
    4. 4. Great Depression & Politics<br />Great Depression<br />Visit to Soviet Union<br />Communism<br />Spanish Civil War<br />Senator Joseph McCarthy<br />FBI Security Risk<br />
    5. 5. Poetry<br />Stanza forms<br />“Low-Down folks”<br />Write about what you know<br />Renaissance Man<br />The Weary Blues<br />
    6. 6. Plays and Music<br />Poetry Accompanying Music<br />Henry “Red” Allen Band<br />First Play - Mule Bone<br />Harlem Suitcase Theatre<br />
    7. 7. Recognition & Honors<br />Honorary Literature Degree <br />Honorary Doctorate<br />Guggenheim Fellowship 1935<br />Spingarn Medal<br />NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission<br />
    8. 8. Death<br />Harlem Home Landmark<br />Died May 22, 1967<br />