"The casual but forceful thrust of his poetry, a recurrent concern for the mulatto, his tremendous versatility, the uncompromising posture are affirmed in a highly sympathetic but nevertheless reliable account of his life."
"To my mind it is the duty of the younger Negro artist. . . to change through the force of his art that old whispering 'I want to be white,' hidden in the aspiration of his people, to 'Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro—and beautiful!'" That was the twenty-four-year-old Hughes writing in The Nation in 1926 and it is an early sign of an integrity that he maintained throughout his life.
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