How did Langston Hughes poems influence the Harlem Renaissance?
Hughes's poems influenced the Harlem Renaissance for two reasons. First, because he was elemental in exposing the reality of conditions for African-Americans in the 40s and 50s. But perhaps even more meaningful was instilling both a sense of pride and hope: pride in their culture and hope that the American Dream extended beyond "whiteness."
Hughes's poem, "I, Too" is a good example of this argument:
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.Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
Then. Besides,They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--I, too, am America.