As a child, Hughes learned from his maternal grandmother stories of the African-American experience which he celebrated in his writings which were themselves "frankly racial in theme and treatment (Meyer Literature, 1). Consequently, Hughes understood racism and oppression which he also experienced as an adult in cities such as New York and Chicago as well as during his youth in Kansas.
Hughes' parents separated largely because his father, James Nathaniel Hughes, could not cope with the racial prejudice and economic frustration that were the result of his own black and white racial ancestry. Langston and his mother, Carrie, were abandoned by James Hughes, who left Joplin, Missouri to find work in Mexico where he hoped the color of his skin would be less of an issue than it was in the United States (Meyer Literature, 1).
According to the University of Kansas (1), Hughes felt rejected by his father and even by his mother and was unable to understand why he was not allowed to live with either one of them. These feelings