"Like his most famous poems, Hughes's stories are messages from that other America, sharply etched vignettes of its daily life, cruelly accurate portrayals of black people colliding -- sometimes humorously, more ofteh tragically -- with whites".
"Within the range of these stories there is humor, pathos, terror, and satire. I suspect that Langston Hughes is revealing here that mysterious quality that we call genius." -- Horace Gregory
Addendum: In the comment section, my young friend Mark 224, from Detroit, asked the following question: "I wonder why Richard Wright does not get the pub that Langston Hughes does, or at least is not considered among the canon of great African American writers? I don't know, I am just sayin' cause every body talks about Langston when they talk about great blacks. Richard gets a short shrift, IMO, as does Paul Robeson"
After reading his question, I believe it's a perfect time to stretch out my original post. First, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes had distinctly different writing styles, which lead me to highlight Mr. Hughes. Plus, Langston Hughes's body of work dwarfs that of Richard Wright. Hughes wrote poetry, short stories, an autobiography, song lyrics, essays, humor, and plays. The Langston Hughes Reader is a very good compilation of his work.
Yet, more importantly, although my friend believes Richard Wright is receiving a short shaft, that's not true. In many literary circles, Richard Wright receives his just dues. Again, Hughes's and Wright's writing styles were markedly different. Wright's "voice" was fiery, and he participated in communist affairs. Also, some of his pieces were considered offensive or contained too much violence and sex. On the other hand, I choose Hughes because although both men works had racial themes, Hughes's writings "showed" their oppressors in a style that didn't beg for immediate rejection. As I tried to illustrate in my post, when a racist, bigot, or any type of evildoer is vehemently attacked, they have a tendency to return that attack as apposed to listening for the real message.
If a person takes the time to read the works of Langston Hughes, they will find messages that are absent of rants and unrelenting finger pointing. And, why I tipped my hat to him.
I can't help but believe he knew certain powers could vilify the messenger and thus kill, or dismiss his writings, if he took a course similar to Richard Wright's. Richard Wright had to leave the US. He died in Paris at the young age of 52.
And, Paul Robeson was noted as an actor that DOES get his just accolades