Langston Hughes By Michael bond, timbyrne, and reed puleo
Langston Hughes • Born On Februrary 1st 1902 • Joplin, Missouri • James Hughes and Carrie Hughes were his parents • Parents were divorced when he was an infant • Was raised by his Grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas • His Grandma died-Hughes went to Cleveland, Ohio • Went to Columbia University for a year, then dropped out • Got Bachelors degree from Lincoln University
Career • Worked odd jobs when he was young • Used Different forms of literary expression • Poet- “The Weary Blues,” “Fine Clothes to a Jew” • Novelist- Not Without Laughter, Tambourines to Glory • Short Story Writer- The Ways of White Folks, Simple • Autobiographies- The Big Sea, I Wonder as I wander
Positive Criticism • Hughes creative life was full, varied, and original • Always honest • His writing seemed to speak for millions • Took pride in his cultural background
Negative Criticism • Many negro intellects felt as though their race was being portrayed negatively • Stereotypes were enforced • Looked at the lives of ordinary Negros as opposed to successful ones
INFLUENCES • Music of the time • Jazz, Blues, Big Band, Be-Bop • African-American Culture • Trips to Africa
PO’ BOY BLUES • When I was home de • Sunshine seemed like gold. • When I was home de • Sunshine seemed like gold. • Since I come up North de • Whole damn world’s turned cold. • I was a good boy, • Never done no wrong. • Yes, I was a good boy, • Never done no wrong, • But this world is weary • An’ de road is hard an’ long. • I fell in love with • A gal I thought was kind. • Fell in love with • A gal I thought was kind. • She made me lose ma money • An’ almost lose ma mind. • Weary, weary, • Weary early in de morn. • Weary, weary, • Early, early in de morn. • I’s so weary • I wish I’d never been born.
Cultural Background • First African-American to earn his living by writing • Black Arts Movement • Lived in Missouri, Kansas, Africa, New York City, and The Soviet Union
I, Too, Sing America • I, too, sing America. • I am the darker brother. • They send me to eat in the kitchen • When company comes, • But I laugh, • And eat well, • And grow strong. • Tomorrow, • I’ll be at the table • When company comes. • Nobody’ll dare • Say to me, • “Eat in the kitchen.” • Then • Besides, • They’ll see how beautiful I am • And be ashamed- - • I, too, am America.
Dreams • Hold fast to dreams • For if dreams die • Life is a broken-winged bird • That cannot fly. • Hold fast to dreams • For when dreams go • Life is a barren field • Frozen with snow.