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As a talented American author Langston Hughes captured and integrated the realities and demands of Africa America in his work by utilizing the beauty dignity and heritage of blacks in America in the 1920s Hughes was reared for a time by his grandmother in Kansas after his parents divorce Influenced by the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Carl Sandburg he began writing creatively while still a boy Not only did Hughes suffer from poverty but also from restrictions that came with living in a segregated community While he attended an integrated school he was not permitted to play team sports or join the Boy Scouts Even his favorite movie theater put a sign that read No Colored Admitted In spite of these obstacles Hughes developed a natural sense of self-confidence and hope His grandmother always lived as a free woman and was insistent about standing up for the right of all people to be free Under her influence Hughes learned to endure the hardships of prejudice without surrendering his dignity or pride Berry 7 My father hated Negroes Hughes wrote I think he hated himself too for being a Negro Hughes wanted to attend Colombia University and needed his fathers financial aid His father refused because he wanted Hughes to study engineering Seeing his sons determination he finally agreed to help pay his tuition University officials were surprised to discover Hughes was black He was discriminated against from dormitories to the student newspaper Angered by the racism he unexpectedly encountered Hughes began to explore New York which brought about the most important stage in his development as a writer Even though his father was racist Hughes never was He always sought to speak to all Americans especially on the larger issues of social economic and political justice He did not hide the fact that he lived with racism but he talked of his strength and the strength of many other blacks to stand
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