James Mercer Langston Hughes
An American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, columnist, the leader of the Harlem Renaissance, are all titles that define and described James Mercer Langston Hughes. Langston was raised by his maternal grandmother, and then his mother raised him after his grandmother, Mary, died in his early teens. It was during this time Hughes first began to write poetry and one of his teachers introduced him to his inspirations, Carl Whitman and Walt Whitman. Even though Langston had a joyful attitude and was an inspiration to many, his poems had an opposite personality. Mercer used dark imagery, themes, and his poems reflected his deepest and darkest thoughts about life.
In Langston’s poem “Song of a Dark Girl”, he used a lot of dark imagery. “They hung my black young lover/ To a crossroads tree” and “Bruised body high in air” Hughes, Arnold, and David 104) are lines from the poem he wrote. Langston Hughes was trying to get the reader to picture what he was writing when he wrote this poem.
Langston’s poem, “Song of a Dark Girl”, was about his lover being an African American female that was hung on a crossroads tree. During this time Langston was writing about racial discrimination and how Caucasians were still not fond of African Americans. “I asked the white Lord Jesus/ What was the use of prayer” (Hughes, Arnold, and David 104) was a stanza from “Song for a Dark Girl”.
The poems “I ‘Too”, “Dreams”, and “Mother to Son” had similar themes. Each poem had a similar theme to keep moving forward during hard times. The lines “Hold fast to dreams” (Hughes, Arnold, and David 32), “I, too sing America” (Hughes, Arnold, and David 46), and “So, boy don’t you turn back” (Hughes, Arnold, David 30) are all about dreams and to go forward in life. “Let America Be America Again” had a theme about dreams, except it was about how the author felt left out of the American Dream. Langston also feels that it’s true for other minorities and those...