He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.
Both of Hughes' paternal great-grandmothers were enslaved African Americans and both of his paternal great-grandfathers were white slave owners in Kentucky.
One of the first women to attend Oberlin Collegeshe married Lewis Sheridan Learyalso of mixed racebefore her studies. See The Talented Tenth. Charles Langston later moved with his family to Kansas, where he was active as an educator and activist for voting and rights for African Americans.
Hughes' father left his family soon after the boy was born and later divorced Carrie. The senior Hughes traveled to Cuba and then Mexico, seeking to escape the enduring racism in the United States.
Through the black American oral tradition and drawing from the activist experiences of her generation, Mary Langston instilled in her grandson a lasting sense of racial pride. In his autobiography The Big Sea, he wrote: Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books—where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas.
Later, Hughes lived again with his mother Carrie in Lincoln, Illinois.
She had remarried when he was still an adolescent. The family moved to Cleveland, Ohiowhere he attended high school and was taught by Helen Maria Chesnuttwhom he found inspiring.
While in grammar school in Lincoln, Hughes was elected class poet. He stated that in retrospect he thought it was because of the stereotype about African Americans having rhythm. There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry.
Well, everyone knows, except us, that all Negroes have rhythm, so they elected me as class poet. His first piece of jazz poetry, "When Sue Wears Red," was written while he was in high school. He lived briefly with his father in Mexico in Upon graduating from high school in JuneHughes returned to Mexico to live with his father, hoping to convince him to support his plan to attend Columbia University.
Hughes later said that, prior to arriving in Mexico, "I had been thinking about my father and his strange dislike of his own people.
I didn't understand it, because I was a Negro, and I liked Negroes very much. On these grounds, he was willing to provide financial assistance to his son, but did not support his desire to be a writer.
Eventually, Hughes and his father came to a compromise: Hughes would study engineering, so long as he could attend Columbia. His tuition provided, Hughes left his father after more than a year.
He left in because of racial prejudice. He was attracted more to the African-American people and neighborhood of Harlem than to his studies, but he continued writing poetry. Malone inspending six months traveling to West Africa and Europe.
Malone for a temporary stay in Paris.
In Novemberhe returned to the U. After assorted odd jobs, he gained white-collar employment in as a personal assistant to historian Carter G. As the work demands limited his time for writing, Hughes quit the position to work as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel.
There he encountered poet Vachel Lindsaywith whom he shared some poems. Impressed with the poems, Lindsay publicized his discovery of a new black poet. By this time, Hughes's earlier work had been published in magazines and was about to be collected into his first book of poetry.
Hughes at university in The following year, Hughes enrolled in Lincoln Universitya historically black university in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He joined the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. After Hughes earned a B. Except for travels to the Soviet Union and parts of the Caribbeanhe lived in Harlem as his primary home for the remainder of his life.Black American poet Langston Hughes wrote a critical poem, "Freedom Train", in which he described the Freedom Train passing through the segregated southern states, where black and white passengers rode in separate cars.
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Young Langston Hughes was a dreamer. He dreamed about heroes like Booker T. Washington, who was black just like him. When he heard the clackety-clack of train wheels. Center for Shared Solutions (DTMB) Service Development and Delivery.
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Get a New PO Box Manage Your PO Box. An Analysis of Langston Hughes' Poem, Freedom Train There is very little left to the imagination when reading Langston Hughes "Freedom Train".
His ideas of .