Langston Hughes’ Impact on the Harlem Renaissance

During the Harlem Renaissance, which took place roughly from the 1920s to the mid-’30s, many black artists flourished as public interest in their work took off. One of the Renaissance’s leading lights was poet and author Langston Hughes. Hughes not only made his mark in this artistic movement by breaking boundaries with his poetry, he drew on international experiences, found kindred spirits amongst his fellow artists, took a stand for the possibilities of black art, and influenced how the Harlem Renaissance would be remembered.

Hughes stood up for black artists

George Schuyler, editor of a black paper in Pittsburgh, wrote the article “The Negro-Art Hokum” for an edition of The Nation in June 1926. The piece discounted the existence of “Negro art,” arguing that African-American artists shared European influences with their white counterparts, and were therefore producing the same kind of work. Spirituals and jazz, with their clear links to black performers, were dismissed as folk art.  Read more..

Source: Biography,  writer Sara Kettler.

 

Visit Langston Hughes House in East Harlem