Langston Hughes and “Mother to Son”: Social Justice in Poetry

1. Introduction: Langston Hughes and “Mother to Son”

Langston Hughes is one of the most renowned poets of the Harlem Renaissance. His work often tackles social justice issues and gives a voice to the African American community. One of his most famous poems is “Mother to Son”, which was published in 1922. This poem tells the story of a mother giving advice to her son, and it is full of powerful imagery and symbolism.

2. The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a time period in the early 20th century when African American art, music, and culture flourished. It was a response to the discrimination and racism that black people faced in America. Langston Hughes was a key figure in this movement, and his work served as an inspiration for other black artists.

3. Social Justice in “Mother to Son”

“Mother to Son” is a poem about perseverance in the face of adversity. The mother advises her son to never give up, even when life is hard. She tells him that she has faced many challenges in her own life, but she has always kept going. This message is especially relevant for black Americans who have faced centuries of oppression. The poem is also a call for social justice, as it urges people to never give up on their dreams and fight for what is right.

4. Conclusion

Langston Hughes was a highly influential poet who used his work to advocate for social change. “Mother to Son” is just one example of his powerful writing that speaks to the African American experience. This poem is an important reminder of the strength and resilience of the black community, and it remains relevant today as we continue to fight for social justice.


The poem's main theme is the difficulties that mothers face in raising their children.

Hughes conveys this theme through the use of literary devices such as metaphors and similes.

The significance of the title "Mother to Son" is that it highlights the special relationship between a mother and her son.