As the poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes was passionate about exploring the soul and condition of the black community in America. He sought to capture the everyday experience and struggles of black people, and celebrated their spirit through his art. He was a lover of humanity, and often touches upon big human ideas (like dreams in his poems). His greatest influences were Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Claude McKay. Like them, he fused the sound and rhythms of colloquial speech with that of blues, jazz, and church music.