Langston Hughes had the ucanny ability to transform his voice in his writing. Throughout his body of work, including poetry, jazz lyrics, short stories, novels and plays, he metamorphoses between the voice of a slave, an aristocrat, an old female black woman and himself. He could be anyone he needed to be to convey his message with soul.
His ethnicity, heritage and upbringing greatly influenced his work, in dialect, racial themes and characterization. His father was a successful businessman. He wanted Langston to become an engineer. His mother's family were poor. He drew from his family background, his own experiences and the collective experiences of the negro population in America.