Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes had a five-decade career in which he wrote short stories, poems, plays, books for children, as well as newspaper columns, and novels. He is considered today as one of the, if not the, most important writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Read more about Langston Hughes.

50-50

’50-50’ by Langston Hughes contains a dialogue between a man and a woman. The woman is looking for a partner and the man is telling her, rudely, how to acquire him as one. 

As I Grew Older

‘As I Grew Older’ by Langston Hughes is about breaking through the “wall” that racism constructs. The speaker, a Black man from the African American community, spends the poem discussing the light of forgotten dreams he’s newly determined to attain.

Cross

‘Cross’ by Langston Hughes uses a stereotypical image of a biracial man to explore identity and the inequalites one might encounter.

Daybreak in Alabama

Music is a powerful tool to bring harmony even in the cacophonic world, filled with inequality, injustice, and racial discrimination. In ‘Daybreak in Alabama,’ Langston Hughes tries to create a harmonious world by creating music of equality and brotherhood.

Dream Boogie

‘Dream Boogie’ by Langston Hughes is a poem about jazz, creativity, and the oppression of Black Americans. It was written during the Harlem Renaissance. 

Dream Variations

‘Dream Variations’ by Langston Hughes details two slightly different dreams a Black speaker has as he is confronted with the “white day.”

Dreams

‘Dreams’ is a two-stanza poem that highlights the value of “dreams” by presenting two situations that revolve around the loss of those “dreams.”

Harlem (A Dream Deferred)

‘Harlem (A Dream Deferred)’ by Langston Hughes is a powerful poem. The poet wrote it in response to what he felt as a black man navigating a career and personal life in a white-dominated world.

I Dream a World

‘I Dream A World’ by Langston Hughes is a powerful, short poem that outlines the poet’s vision of a utopian world. There, no one is judged on the color of their skin and all people have access to the same freedoms.

I, Too, Sing America

Langston Hughes’ poem ‘I, Too, Sing America’ is an incredibly personal poem Hughes wrote, highlighting American Society and a Black man’s experience in it.

Let America Be America Again

‘Let America Be America Again’ by Langston Hughes is concerned with the modern United States. Hughes discusses the nature of dreams and who gets to have them come true.

Life is Fine

‘Life is Fine’ by Langston Hughes is a playful ditty. The poem is about a man who is suffering and contemplating suicide but is still able to see the beauty in life.

Mother to Son

‘Mother to Son’ by Langston Hughes uses the metaphor of a staircase to depict the difficulties and dangers one will face in life.

My People

‘My People’ by Langston Hughes is a passionate and celebratory poem. In it, Hughes’ speaker focuses on the diverse lives of people in his community.

Still Here

‘Still here’ by Langston Hughes is a poem that is grounded in varying grammar concepts to indicate weariness through struggle and clarity after the struggle concludes.

Suicide’s Note

‘Suicide’s Note’ is a three-line poem that speaks from the perspective of someone who wants to take their own life. They feel the “cool face” of the river asking them for a “kiss.”

The Ballad of the Landlord

‘The Ballad of the Landlord’ is a poem that explores the relationship between a Black tenant and his white landlord. The latter refuses to fulfill his duties and the former ends up in jail.

Theme for English B

‘Theme for English B’ is one of Langston Hughes’ best-known poems. It delves into themes of identity and race through the depiction of a black man’s writing assignment.

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