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Harlem (Dream Deferred)

Harlem (Dream Deferred)

by Langston Hughes

Analysis: Brain Snacks

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Hughes was the first African-American writer to be able to financially support himself through his writing. (Source)

After dropping out of Columbia University, Hughes decided to sail to Africa, and then traveled throughout Europe. He worked various odd jobs to support himself. (Source)

While embarking upon his ship voyage to Africa, Hughes decided to abandon poetry and literature, which he thought to be grounded in fantasy rather than in reality. He threw his books overboard, keeping only Walt Whitman's book of poetry Leaves of Grass. (Source)

Upon returning from his travels abroad, Hughes worked as a busboy at a hotel restaurant in Washington, D.C. One night, he noticed that the famous poet Vachel Lindsay was dining there. Instead of introducing himself, Hughes left a few of his poems next to Lindsay's plate. Lindsay loved them and later encouraged Hughes to submit his poems to magazines and journals. (Source)

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