https://www.storyboardthat.com/biography/langston-hughes

Illustrated Guide to Influential People

Langston Hughes


Langston Hughes was one of the most famous writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Stylistically influenced by jazz music, his writing sought to capture the everyday experiences of black Americans.

Create a Storyboard

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was one of the most famous writers of the Harlem Renaissance. His works, though shared with the literary world at large, were unapologetically shaped by the African American experience. Unlike the leading black intellectuals of his time, Hughes did not attempt to reshape his language or themes to suit a white audience. His work reflects heavy influence of the ordinary black experience as well as the prominent jazz culture of his era.

Born James Mercer Langston Hughes in 1902, Hughes began writing in high school. He went on to graduate from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and held a series of diverse jobs throughout his life, including busboy, assistant cook, launderer, sailor, and, of course, writer. Hughes sought to represent the common man, moving beyond his personal identity to give voice to the experiences of millions. His language and themes were simple and accessible. In his 1940 autobiography The Big Sea, he defines his subjects as "workers, roustabouts, and singers, and job hunters on Lenox Avenue in New York, or Seventh Street in Washington or South State in Chicago—people up today and down tomorrow, working this week and fired the next, beaten and baffled, but determined not to be wholly beaten, buying furniture on the installment plan, filling the house with roomers to help pay the rent, hoping to get a new suit for Easter—and pawning that suit before the Fourth of July."

Throughout his writing career, Hughes wrote novels, plays, short stories, poetry, and a regular newspaper column. Popular among these were his “Simple” stories - short stories featuring the recurring character Jesse B. Semple, nicknamed “Simple”. Simple’s relatable tales highlighted the everyday troubles that much of Hughes’s black readership experienced themselves.

Today, Hughes remains best known to many for his striking poetry. Influenced by poets like Paul Laurence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman, Hughes often uses anaphora, or repetition, in his poems. Whitman’s influence is particularly evident in poems such as “I, too” and “Let America Be America Again”, in which Hughes revisits some of Whitman’s famous egalitarian images and challenges their reality for African Americans. Hughes’s work is made distinct from its influences, however, by its jazz-like rhythm. Poems like “The Weary Blues” and “Po’ Boy Blues” explicitly mimic the repetition and cadence of blues songs. By featuring this form of music so prominently, Hughes helped to legitimize jazz as an art form. As jazz used song to tell the varied emotions of life, so Hughes used the written word to capture the complex yet commonplace sentiments of love, pain, dreams, injustice, rage, and more. His prolific work, popularity, and poetic gift made him one of the most influential voices of the Harlem Renaissance and 20th century America.


Famous Works of Langston Hughes

  • “Let America Be America Again”
  • “I, too”
  • “The Weary Blues”
  • The Big Sea
  • Dreams
  • Mother to Son
  • “A Dream Deferred”
  • ”The Negro Speaks of Rivers”

Langston Hughes Quotes

”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… I, too, am America.”

“I, Too, Sing America”

”Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”

“Dreams”

”I do not need my freedom when I’m dead. I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread. Freedom is a strong seed planted in great need. I live here, too.”

“Democracy”
Create a Storyboard
See All Biographies

How do I use this?

The illustrated guide storyboards have easily digestible information with a visual to stimulate understanding and retention. Storyboard That is passionate about student agency, and we want everyone to be storytellers. Storyboards provide an excellent medium to showcase what students have learned, and to teach to others.

Student Presenting a Storyboard

Use these illustrated guides as a springboard for individual and class-wide projects!


  • Assign a term/person/event to each student to complete their own storyboard
  • Create your own illustrated guide of a topic you are studying
  • Create an illustrated guide to the people in your class or school
  • Post storyboards to class and school social media channels
  • Copy and edit these storyboards and use as references or visuals
Create a Storyboard

Pricing




Create a Storyboard
https://www.storyboardthat.com/biography/langston-hughes
© 2019 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.

Help Share Storyboard That!

Explore Our Articles and Examples

Business Resources

All Business ArticlesBusiness Templates

Film Resources

Film ResourcesVideo Marketing

Illustrated Guides

BusinessEducation
Try Our Other Websites!

Photos for Class   •   Quick Rubric   •   abcBABYart   •   Storyboard That's TpT Store
Prefer a different language?

•   (English) Langston Hughes   •   (Español) Langston Hughes   •   (Français) Langston Hughes   •   (Deutsch) Langston Hughes   •   (Italiana) Langston Hughes   •   (Nederlands) Langston Hughes   •   (Português) Langston Hughes   •   (עברית) לנגסטון יוז   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) لانغستون هيوز   •   (हिन्दी) लैंग्स्टन ह्यूजेस   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Лэнгстон Хьюз   •   (Dansk) Langston Hughes   •   (Svenska) Langston Hughes   •   (Suomi) Langston Hughes   •   (Norsk) Langston Hughes   •   (Türkçe) Langston Hughes   •   (Polski) Langston Hughes   •   (Româna) Langston Hughes   •   (Ceština) Langston Hughes   •   (Slovenský) Langston Hughes   •   (Magyar) Langston Hughes   •   (Hrvatski) Langston Hughes   •   (български) Лангстън Хюз   •   (Lietuvos) Langston Hughes   •   (Slovenščina) Langston Hughes   •   (Latvijas) Langston Hughes   •   (eesti) Langston Hughes