Langston Hughes was born in 1901 and became a famous American columnist, social activist, playwright, novelist, and poet. Hughes is mostly known for insightfully portraying the U.S. black life from the twenties to the sixties (“Langston Hughes”). Notably, he decided not to differentiate between the general experience of black America and his personal experience (“Langston Hughes”). Instead, Hughes chose to tell his people’s stories in such ways that they could reflect their actual culture. It included their suffering, language, laughter, and love of music.
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James Baldwin, born in 1924, is known as an American activist, poet, playwright, and novelist. His poems and essays discuss intricacies of class, sexual, and racial distinctions in the mid-twentieth-century U.S. (“James Baldwin”). The themes of sexuality, masculinity, and, most importantly, races create complex narratives that run in parallel with several main political movements that focus on social changes in America (“James Baldwin”). Baldwin’s protagonists are often bisexual, gay, and African Americans, while his characters usually struggle while searching for acceptance.
Born in 1925 in Mississippi, Medgar Evers was an American civil rights activist. Though he worked to end segregation at the University of Mississippi and of public facilities, his primary focus was on expanding opportunities for African Americans (“NAACP History: Medgar Evers”). What is more, Evers tried to achieve the enforcement of voting rights for black people (“NAACP History: Medgar Evers”). Standing for human rights, he also participated in organizing the RCNL’s boycott of gasoline stations, which prohibited African Americans from using the stations’ restrooms.
Louis Lomax was born in 1922 to become an author and the first African-American television journalist. On his TV program, he interviewed guests about the war in Vietnam, racial discrimination, the women’s movement, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam, and other controversial topics (Griffith). He analyzed the movement of black power from a unique perspective and defended the rebellious and young African American people.
Being Black in America
There are some connections between these four activists, and the first one is that they all were African Americans who chose to fight for the rights of black people. Muhammad notes that the idea of the boycott of 1963 initially belonged to “James Baldwin, Louis Lomax, Actors and Writers for Justice as well as legendary writer Langston Hughes.” The research of their backgrounds helps people to understand that being black in America is challenging but not hopeless.
Griffith, Susan. “Louis Emanuel Lomax.” Black Past Store, 2017, Web.
“James Baldwin.” Poetry Foundation, 2020. Web.
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“Langston Hughes.” Poets.Org., 2020. Web.
Muhammad, Charlene. “The Powerful History of Black Boycotts.” The Final Call, 2015, Web.
“NAACP History: Medgar Evers.” NAACP, 2020. Web.