In his writings, Langston Hughes very carefully, yet subtly, reveals that his literary activities, for the most part, have been performance art. In explaining the “tightrope of words” he has had to traverse in order to reach the self-identification he wanted for himself from early childhood, he explains how a mastery of language was his first step. Accommodating the interests of his audiences was the next. In this essay, Carmaletta Williams takes us through Hughes's revelations about his art, family, and journey to self-identification primarily through his second autobiography, I Wonder as I Wander.

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