Born on the first of February 1902, in Joplin, Missouri, Hughes had rather a tough life and upbringing. Not only was he born black in a difficult time period for black people but his parents were also separated. He barely lived with his mother during his childhood for his grandmother brought him up until her death. Later on he lived with his mother and his father for a short period and he did not like either of them. Hughes studied in Columbia University till he left due to racial prejudice. But he managed to get his poetry published. His first famous poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", which was published in 1921, Hughes poetry contributed to the development of a cultural movement known as "The Harlem Renaissance", characterized by black pride and the desire to see African Americans attain self realization. Most of Hughes poetry illustrates the ordeals experienced by his race and the pride he feels in his people's accomplishments. .
Langston Hughes' poetry also shows an obvious pride in the Black American race and what they have done to American society. His pride is mostly seen in his use of the rhyme of Jazz, a type of much developed mostly by Black Americans and enjoyed by both black and white in American. In fact, he depicts them as beautiful as in the following lines: .
The night is beautiful, .
So the faces of my people. .
The stars are beautiful, .
So the eyes of my people. .
Beautiful, also, is the sun. .
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.
Langston Hughes' poem is filled with meaning and real matter, using simple words to illustrate the overall complexity of African American lives. Hughes uses comparison in every line to reinforce and emphasize the main message he is trying to convey, which is what could happen "if a dream is deferred". Hughes speaks about what would happen if a person were unable to pursue his/her dreams and goals in life. Hughes uses similes throughout the poem, giving us the imagery and the capability of imagining how hard an African American's life could be.