poet. Novelist. Playwright. Activist. There was not much that Langston Hughes could not do. Born in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902, Hughes – an inventor of the art form of jazz poetry – eventually arrived in New York City, where he became one of the most prominent leaders of the Harlem Renaissance. But even among his peers, Hughes was unique.
In the 1973s Modern Black Poets: A Collection of Critical Essays wrote the critic Donald B. Gibson, Hughes distinguished himself from most of his predecessors Black Poets … in which he directed his poetry to the people, specifically to blacks. In the 1920s, when most American poets turned inward and wrote obscure and esoteric poems to an ever-diminishing audience of readers, Hughes turned to the outside, using language and themes, attitudes, and ideas everyone knew just could read. 1
. 1 About Humor
"Humor laughs at what you do not have when you should have it … what you desire in your secret heart was not funny, but that's it, and you have to laugh. Humor is your own unconscious therapy. Like a welcome summer rain, humor can suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air, and you. "
. 2 On the meaning of dreams
"A deferred dream is a dream that is rejected."
3. On Censorship
"We Negro writers were simply black because they were blacklisted all our lives. The censorship begins for us at the color line. "
. 4 and 5. Freedom
"In my whole life, I have never been free. I've never been able to do anything with freedom except in the area of my writing. "
" An artist must be free to choose what he does, but he must never be afraid to do what he chooses. "
. 6 For the Purpose of Art
"Perhaps an artist's mission is to interpret the beauty of man – the beauty within himself."
. 7 If one does not accept "but" as an answer
"I will not take" but "as an answer Negroes have considered the" but "of democracy too long."
8. and 9. The writing process
"I must never write if I do not want to write."
"Writing is like traveling. It's wonderful to go somewhere, but you'll be tired of staying. "
"I've discovered in life that there are ways to get almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to."
11. In the place of politics in poetry
"Politics may be the graveyard of the poet. And only poetry can be his resurrection. "
12th and 13. Democracy
"Democracy will not come today, neither this year nor through compromise and fear."
"I swear to the Lord, I still can not understand why democracy means except me. "
14th About life and death
"Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death is a letter that is not mentioned. "
15th to the duty of black artists
"In my opinion, it is the duty of the younger Negro artist, if he accepts at all from outside duties, to change the old whisper with the power of his art, which I would like to be white, & # 39; Hidden aspirations of his people, & # 39; Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro – and beautiful! "
16th On Life in the Present
"I'm tired of hearing people say, let things take their course. Tomorrow is a new day. I do not need my freedom when I'm dead. I can not live on bread tomorrow. "
"When a man begins to build a world, he first begins with himself."
18. About the Revolution
"Good morning, Revolution: You're the best friend I've ever had. We will walk together from now on. "
19th On the nature of jazz
"Jazz is for me one of the expressions of Negro life in America. a world of subways and work, work, work; the tom-tom of joy and laughter and pain choked in a smile. "
20th On beer
"Whiskey likes me, of course, but beer is better for me."