Langston Hughes was a predominant influence in the early 1920s during the "Harlem Renaissance" movement, an influx of black authors and artists gaining popularity. His poetry and books addressed many aspects of urban life and racial tensions occurring to or around him. His regular column in the Chicago Defender used Jesse B. Semple to demonstrate the extremes of racial assumptions of blacks and whites.
Hughes' overall goal was to educate his fellow man. He sought to educate whites on the plight of racism exerted on the black community. He also used his work to educate blacks on how they perceive racial actions and demonstrate there is hope in the world for equality. Hughes was not always celebrated for his works. Some in the black community attacked him for portraying perceived shortcomings of the race and felt Hughes should not be letting white America into their internal problems. In response, Hughes felt it was his duty to bring to light the truth so a meaningful discussion could result. He was mindful of his heritage and was well traveled with trips to Mexico, Spain, South Africa and Paris. Hughes understood the importance of his writings in addressing the scar of prejudice and had no remorse for revealing the bad along with the great.