Born James Mercer Langston Hughes in 1902, he was one of the important literary figures of the 1920s. He was most widely known as a poet but was also a novelist, playwright, columnist and social activist. With over a 100 works written by himself and in collaboration with other writers he leaves a large legacy for readers and aspiring writers.
One fact not often mentioned was the criticism received from many black intellectuals who felt he was portraying an unattractive view of black life. Hughes response to the critics was he wrote about what he knew and he didn’t know the upper class. Hoyt W. Fuller explained it as Hughes “chose to identify with plain black people—not because it required less effort and sophistication, but precisely because he saw more truth and profound significance in doing so.”
One of my favorite writings from Langston Hughes is the poem below:
Here is my original poem inspired by this work:
WHAT HAPPENS TO A DREAM FULFILLED?
What happens to a dream fulfilled?
Does it rise higher
Like a balloon?
Or bloom like a flower
in the spring?
Does it smell like barbecued chicken on the
Or is it like a chocolate candy
that tastes delicious and yummy?
Maybe its like a big bubble
That makes a noise when it pops.
Or is it just a medal
That you hang upon the wall?
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