Harlem by Langston Hughes Discussion Questions

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

''Harlem'' may be the most famous work of the great poet Langston Hughes. It's also a poem that takes time to really appreciate, and one that is ripe for discussion. These questions can help guide that discussion.


Langston Hughes was one of the great poets of the 20th century, and one of the definitive voices of the Harlem Renaissance. His most famous poem is often cited as Harlem, a short but powerful condemnation of the lack of post-war opportunities for African Americans. The poem is deceptive in its simplicity, so students can easily overlook some of the meaning without appropriate historical context and discussion. These questions can help guide your class through a discussion on Langston Hughes' Harlem and post-war African-American experiences.

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