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Langston Hughes . Tianna Teles. Biography. Born in Joplin, Missouri.

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langston hughes

Langston Hughes


  • Born in Joplin, Missouri.
  • Langston Hughes’ parents divorced when he was young, and his father left the family attempting to escape racism in the United States. This caused Langston’s mother, Carrie Mercer, to begin traveling and seeking for jobs. Langston Hughes’ grandmother, Mary Patterson Langston took the responsibility of raising him as her own child.
  • After the death of his grandmother and moving from one state to another, Langston finally moved in with his mother in Lincoln, Illinois.
  • There he began grammar school, and his love for poetry began. He was elected class poet.
  • When he graduated highschool in 1920, Hughes moved to Mexico to live with his father.
  • Hughes and his father made a compromise and decided that he will study engineering while attending Columbia University. However, he still contained a love for poetry.
  • In 1922, Hughes left Columbia University because of racial prejudice.
  • In 1924, Hughes moved once again to live with his mother in Washington DC. He worked for many jobs such as a busboy, personal assistantfor Carter G. Woodson.
  • He encounted a woman named Vachel Lindsay and shared his poems with her. Lindsay Vachel was so impressed with his poems that she publicized him as a new black poet. His work was then published in magazines and books of poetry.
  • The following year, Langston attended Lincoln University and received a B.A. degree in 1929.
  • Langston Hughes died on May 22, 1967 from complictation with abdominal surgery at the age of 65.
contribution to the renaissance
Contribution to the renaissance
  • Langston Hughes was considered the Leader of the Harlem Renaissance
  • The African American community appreciated Hughes’ racial pride
  • Many young artists idolized Hughes because of his ability to express his opinion about extremely sensitive topics
  • Hughes’ poem, “Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” uplifted many African American’s racial pride and also motived them to continue following their dreams.
  • Received the Palms magazine Intercollegiate Poetry Award in 1927
  • Received the Spingarn Medal for distinguished achievements by an African American in 1960
  • Inducted into the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1961
  • Published a novel called Not Without Laughter, and won the Golden Harmon Award for best novel.
3ts mother to son
3ts: “mother to son”


  • The theme of Mother to Son is perseverance. The mother is advising her son to never give up or settle for less than he deserves.
  • “So boy, don’t you turn back/ Don’t you set down on the steps/ Cause you finds its kinder hard” (Hughes 14-16).


  • The tone of Mother to Son is soothing and calming. The mother is explaining to the son that life isn’t easy and there are going to be many obstacles. However, getting through those obstacles will show how strong and determined you are.
  • “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair/ It’s had tacks in it/ And splinters/ And boards torn up/ And places with no carpet on the floor” (Hughes 2-6).


  • In “Mother to Son,” Langston Hughes uses free verse because he does not break off the lines in a certain order. Also, Hughes uses fragmentation because he’s discussing the entire Black community but only refers to a young boy. The young boy in the poem represents the African American community.
3ts jazzonia
3ts: “jazzonia”


  • The theme of “Jazzonia” is anger because Langston Hughes is mad at the fact that African Americans cannot participate in certain clubs.


  • The tone of “Jazzonia” is upset because Hughes wants African Americans to be treated fairly. He wishes that the Black community was allowed to join in these clubs.


  • The technique of “Jazzonia” is allusion because he refers to Eve and Cleopatra in his poem. Another technique that Hughes uses is rhyme scheme because the poem has certain rhyming couplets.
goodbye christ
“Goodbye, Christ”

Go ahead on now,You’re getting in the way of things, Lord.And please take Saint Gandhi with you when you go,And Saint Pope Pius,And Saint Aimee McPherson,And big black Saint BectonOf the Consecrated Dime.And step on the gas, Christ!Move!

Don’t be so slow about movin?The world is mine from now on-And nobody’s gonna sell METo a king, or a general,Or a millionaire.

“Goodbye Christ.”

Listen, Christ,You did alright in your day, I reckon-But that day’s gone now.They ghosted you up a swell story, too,Called it Bible-But it’s dead now,The popes and the preachers’veMade too much money from it.They’ve sold you to too many

Kings, generals, robbers, and killers-Even to the Tzar and the Cossacks,Even to Rockefeller’s Church,Even to THE SATURDAY EVENING POST.You ain’t no good no more.They’ve pawned youTill you’ve done wore out.

Goodbye,Christ Jesus Lord God Jehova,Beat it on away from here now.Make way for a new guy with no religion at all-A real guy namedMarx Communist Lenin Peasant Stalin Worker ME-I said, ME!

3ts goodbye christ
3ts: “goodbye Christ”


  • The theme of “Goodbye Christ” is injustice. Hughes is saying goodbye to Christ because Christ has allowed African Americans to be treated unfairly in America.
  • “Goodbye/ Christ Jesus Lord God Jehovah/ Beat it on away from here now” (Hughes 18-20).


  • The tone of “Goodbye Christ” is tired because he is annoyed with the fact that African Americans aren’t being treated equally.


  • One technique of “Goodbye Christ” is free verse because Hughes breaks lines freely instead of in a specific order. Another technique is allusion because Hughes mentions many figure in his poem. This helps the reader relate to the poem because they know who the figures are.
compare and contrast
Compare and contrast


  • All three poems discuss the fact that African Americans are not treated equally.
  • The poems uplift the spirits and racial pride of the African American community.
  • In “Jazzonia” and “Goodbye Christ,” he makes references to the bible and God.


  • “Mother to Son” is more positive than “Goodbye Christ” because Langston is pushing away God from his life.
  • “Jazzonia” and “Goodbye Christ” use allusions while “Mother to Son” does not.
  • “Mother to Son” is from a mother’s perspective while “Jazzonia” and “Goodbye Christ” are from his perspective.