“Goodbye Christ”: Langston Hughes, black art and literary censorship
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Concluding paragraph: "Langston Hughes as a literary figure today is beloved by many and it is through analyzing his life that I have become aware of his radical nature at the beginning of his career. His life, the mistakes he made and the bold moves that he took throughout the span of his career serve as examples for modern African American writers of the steps they should take with caution when speaking on issues of race. As he aimed to do while living, Langston Hughes is a black author who has impacted literature in numerous ways and helped shape it into what it is today. Langston Hughes made a path for young black writers after him to have the ability of truly exercising their right of freedom of speech. With regards to our present society, these ideas are important because of its relevance to the presence of racial tension even now in America. Much like Langston Hughes, African Americans are currently having their voices censored or ignored. The social climate during the 1930s-1950s closely mirrors the climate of present day America in terms of race, which has left many black youths in search of some form of guidance regarding the topic of race. Langston Hughes and the way that he navigated his own experiences serve as evidence that today’s black youth are not in this alone. Where Langston Hughes bumped heads with his peers regarding how to react to the injustices in our country, current radicals and more compliant blacks are facing this same conflict. This is a very relevant topic considering the recent rise in black authors and poets due to the black lives matter campaign. Black art has transformed in style, form, as well as delivery, however, the core of the art has remained the same; it is still being used to bring to awareness the struggle of the African American community. Having an in depth understanding of how past black writers were impacted and the way their work was shaped will help cultivate the future of black literature. Poems like “Goodbye Christ” serve to remind African Americans where we have come from, but also lets us know that our future in in our own hands. Throughout this thesis I aimed to show how a writer’s social and political environment impacted the way they perceived and illustrated the world. I focused particularly on Langston Hughes because he is such a historically prominent person who was at the forefront of black literature during a time where censorship was at its all time high. Through my observations and analysis of Hughes I have been grown a greater understanding of the role that surveillance played in literature and have come to understand the course of Langston Hughes’ career to a better degree. Langston Hughes and his poem “Goodbye Christ” served as catalysts to get people thinking about African Americans and their place in literature and will continue to have this impact in the future."