Quiz about A Langston Hughes Survey
Quiz about A Langston Hughes Survey

A Langston Hughes Survey Trivia Quiz


This quiz provides a survey of the work of Langston Hughes with a focus on his poetry.

A multiple-choice quiz by skylarb. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
skylarb
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
402,386
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
25
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
18 / 25
Plays
260
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Langston Hughes was known as a leader of what artistic movement, which he referred to as the time when "the negro was in vogue"? Hint

The Oxford Movement
Objectivism
The Harlem Renaissance
New Criticism

2. What was the title of Langston Hughes's first collection of poetry? Hint

Songs of Innocence and of Experience
The Souls of Black Folk
The Weary Blues
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

3. "Hold fast to ______ / For if _____ die / Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly." What word is missing from these lines? Hint

dreams
freedom
truth
plans

4. "I, too, sing ____" what? Hint

Freedom
America
Harlem
Equality

5. What is the title of the Langston Hughes poem that contains the lines "So boy, don't you turn back. / Don't you set down on the steps / 'Cause you finds it's kinder hard"? Hint

Dream Boogie
Advertisement for the Waldorf-Astoria
Crossing Jordan
Mother to Son

6. "Life for me ain't been no ______ stair." What kind of stair? Hint

golden
crystal
easy
moving

7. When the woman in "50-50" complains she "ain't got no man," what does "Big Boy" tell her she must do? "Share your bed and your _____" Hint

heart too
soul too
body too
money too

8. Although best known for his poetry, Langston Hughes also wrote musical plays. Which of his plays retells the story of Christ's birth using an all-black cast? Hint

Tambourines to Glory
Simply Heavenly
Black Nativity
Jesus Christ Superstar

9. Which of the following is a collection of short stories by Langston Hughes? Hint

The Ways of White Folks
Winesburg, Ohio
Dubliners
Skeleton Crew

10. "Clean the _____, boy," the narrator of one poem is told. What does the narrator receive "a nickel, a dime, a dollar, two dollars a day" for cleaning? Hint

brass spittoons
muddy boots
chamber pots
dirty dishes

11. In "Cross", the narrator's white father "died in a fine big house." Where did his black mother die? Hint

In a luxury apartment
In a shack
In a hospital
In the same fine house

12. When the narrator of a Langston Hughes poem gets "to be a colored composer," he's going to write some music about daybreak in what state? Hint

Lousiana
Ohio
California
Alabama

13. "Good morning, daddy! / Ain't you heard / The boogie-woogie rumble / Of a dream _____?" What kind of dream? Hint

long blurred
interred
deferred
conferred

14. Did Langston Hughes ever write a novel?

Yes
No

15. Langston Hughes wrote several books for children, including one about what African-American singer of classical music and spirituals? Hint

Marian Anderson
Aretha Franklin
Loretta Lynn
Mahalia Jackson

16. "Freedom will not come / Today, this year / Nor ever" through what? Hint

bowing and forgiving
hopes and wishes
compromise and fear
marches and protests

17. "_____ never was ______ to me." What word is missing from this blank? Hint

God
America
Harlem
Freedom

18. "I've known _____ ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins." What has the poet known? Hint

excuses
rivers
lands
people

19. For which class does the poet write a paper that says, "As I learn from you, / I guess you learn from me - / although you're older - and white - / and somewhat more free"? Hint

English B
African-American Studies
History 101
Sociology

20. What play by Lorraine Hansberry, which debuted in 1959, takes it title from a line in the Langston Hughes poem "Harlem"? Hint

A Raisin in the Sun
The Color Purple
Mule Bone
The Invisible Man

21. What Langston Hughes poem, originally published as a two-page spread, contains a section titled "Listen Hungry Ones!" and satirizes economic inequality in the 1930s? Hint

I, Too
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
Madam and the Phone Bill
Advertisement for the Waldorf-Astoria

22. "The night is beautiful, / So the faces of _____" what? Hint

my people
my enemies
my children
the audience

23. Which of the following does Langston Hughes NOT mention in his poem about "loud laughers in the hands of Fate"? Hint

Dream-singers, story-tellers, and dancers
Dish-washers, elevator-boys, and ladies' maids
Shoe-shine boys, lawyers, and doctors
Crap-shooters, cooks, waiters, and jazzers

24. What Langston Hughes poem begins, "I am your son, white man!" Hint

Mother to Son
Harlem
I, Too
Mulatto

25. Langston Hughes is considered an early innovator of what form of poetry? Hint

Jazz poetry
Concrete poetry
Pastoral poetry
Blank verse


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Langston Hughes was known as a leader of what artistic movement, which he referred to as the time when "the negro was in vogue"?

Answer: The Harlem Renaissance

"The Harlem Renaissance" is the term used to refer to the intellectual and artistic explosion that occurred among African-Americans in the 1920s in Harlem in New York City. Other poets of the Harlem Renaissance include James Weldon Jones, Claude McKay, Melvin Tolson, Sterling Brown, and Countee Cullen.
2. What was the title of Langston Hughes's first collection of poetry?

Answer: The Weary Blues

"The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Du Bois is a collection of essays on race. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is an autobiography by Maya Angelou. "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" is a collection by the Romantic poet William Blake.

"The Weary Blues", published in 1926, was Langston Hughes's first collection of poetry. Its title poem was first published in "Opportunity", the Urban League magazine, in 1925 and was awarded the publication's prize for best poem of the year. The poetry collection explores the lives of African-Americans as they struggle against poverty and discrimination.
3. "Hold fast to ______ / For if _____ die / Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly." What word is missing from these lines?

Answer: dreams

This is the opening stanza of the poem "Dreams". The poem concludes:

"Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow."

The poet was born James Mercer Langston Hughes on February 1, 1901 in Joplin, Missouri. He attended Lincoln University and settled in Harlem as a young man.
4. "I, too, sing ____" what?

Answer: America

This is the opening line to the poem "I, Too", which continues:

"I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

[. . . ] They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed-

I, too, am America."

Langston Hughes died in May of 1967, when he had abdominal surgery related to his prostate cancer. Today, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University holds a collection of letters, manuscripts, papers, photographs, and clippings documenting his life.
5. What is the title of the Langston Hughes poem that contains the lines "So boy, don't you turn back. / Don't you set down on the steps / 'Cause you finds it's kinder hard"?

Answer: Mother to Son

In the poem "Mother to Son", a mother advises her child to press on despite obstacles, because she's been doing the same even though her life hasn't been easy:

"But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light."

Langston Hughes was dubbed "the poet Laureate of Harlem". He was drawn to communism as an alternative to a segregated America and was invited to the Soviet Union to work on a movie that never came to fruition about the African-American struggle in the United States.
6. "Life for me ain't been no ______ stair." What kind of stair?

Answer: crystal

This line also comes from the poem "Mother to Son":

"Don't you fall now-
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair."

"Mother to Son" was first published in "Crisis" magazine in December of 1922. It was also included in the poet's debut collection of poetry, "The Weary Blues", which was published in 1926. The poem is a dramatic monologue.
7. When the woman in "50-50" complains she "ain't got no man," what does "Big Boy" tell her she must do? "Share your bed and your _____"

Answer: money too

In this sardonic poem, the proposed relationship is not, as the title implies, 50-50:

"Big Boy opened his mouth and said,
Trouble with you is
You ain't got no head!
If you had a head and used your mind
You could have me with you
All the time.

She answered, Babe, what must I do?

He said, Share your bed-
And your money, too."

This poem was written during the later part of the poet's career, when he had begun to depict Harlem not solely as joyous and vibrant but, as the critic Arthur P. Davis wrote, as possessing "a certain strident and hectic quality" with "overtones of weariness and despair."
8. Although best known for his poetry, Langston Hughes also wrote musical plays. Which of his plays retells the story of Christ's birth using an all-black cast?

Answer: Black Nativity

"Black Nativity" features traditional Christmas carols sung in a gospel style and was performed Off-Broadway, starting on December 11, 1961. "Simply Heavenly" was a musical comedy with lyrics written by Langston Hughes that was performed beginning on May 21, 1957. Another gospel play of Langston Hughes, "Tambourines to Glory", debuted in 1963 and tells the story of two women who open a storefront church in Harlem.

Tim Rice wrote the lyrics, and Andrew Lloyd Weber the music, for "Jesus Christ Superstar", which came out in 1970.
9. Which of the following is a collection of short stories by Langston Hughes?

Answer: The Ways of White Folks

"Skeleton Crew" is a short story collection by Stephen King, and "Dubliners" is by James Joyce. "Winesburg, Ohio" is a 1919 short story cycle by Sherwood Anderson.

"The Ways of White Folks," published in 1934, is a sardonic short story cycle that reflects a certain pessimism about race relations. It contains such stories as "Cora Unashamed", "Poor Little Black Fellow", and "Red-Headed Boy".
10. "Clean the _____, boy," the narrator of one poem is told. What does the narrator receive "a nickel, a dime, a dollar, two dollars a day" for cleaning?

Answer: brass spittoons

A spittoon is a receptacle made for spitting into, and was frequently used by those who chew tobacco. The narrator of the poem is paid to clean them and feels the indignity of the work because of the condescending treatment of those who employ him. The poem "Brass Spittoons" begins:

"Clean the spittoons, boy.
Detroit,
Chicago,
Atlantic City,
Palm Beach.
Clean the spittoons.
The steam in hotel kitchens,
And the smoke in hotel lobbies,
And the slime in hotel spittoons:
Part of my life.
Hey, boy!
A nickel,
A dime,
A dollar,
Two dollars a day."
11. In "Cross", the narrator's white father "died in a fine big house." Where did his black mother die?

Answer: In a shack

The poem is about the inner turmoil of the mixed-heritage child of a black mother and white father:

"My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I'm gonna die,
Being neither white nor black?"

Langston Hughes graduated from a high school in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Columbia University. He dropped out of Columbia despite maintaining a B+ average because of the racial prejudice he encountered there, but he later attended Lincoln University.
12. When the narrator of a Langston Hughes poem gets "to be a colored composer," he's going to write some music about daybreak in what state?

Answer: Alabama

The poem "Daybreak in Alabama" begins:

"When I get to be a colored composer
I'm gonna write me some music about
Daybreak in Alabama
And I'm gonna put the purtiest songs in it
Rising out of the ground like a swamp mist
And falling out of heaven like soft dew."

Several literary critics have speculated that Hughes may have been a closeted homosexual, while his primary biographer Arnold Rampersad suggests he was more likely asexual.
13. "Good morning, daddy! / Ain't you heard / The boogie-woogie rumble / Of a dream _____?" What kind of dream?

Answer: deferred

These are the opening lines of "Dream Boogie". The theme of a dream deferred appears also in the poem "Harlem", which asks the question, "What happens to a dream deferred?" and goes on to wonder:

"Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?"

One of the poet's collections of poetry, published by Holt in 1951, was titled "Montage of a Dream Deferred". This phrase, "a dream deferred," has become one of the poet's most famous sayings.
14. Did Langston Hughes ever write a novel?

Answer: yes

His debut novel, "Not Without Laughter", was published in 1930. It depicts African-American life in Kansas in the 1910s, focusing on its main character Sandy. The novel won the William E. Harmon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement among Negroes (also known as the Harmon Gold Medal).
15. Langston Hughes wrote several books for children, including one about what African-American singer of classical music and spirituals?

Answer: Marian Anderson

Hughes wrote the book, subtitled "Famous Concert Singer", with Steven C. Tracy, and it was published in 1954. Other children's books by Langston Hughes include "The First Book of Jazz", "The First Book of the Negroes", "The First Book of Rhythms", and "First Book of Africa".
16. "Freedom will not come / Today, this year / Nor ever" through what?

Answer: compromise and fear

In "Freedom", the narrator rejects the notion of accepting compromise in the quest for equality:

"Freedom will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

The narrator has grown weary of waiting for change:

"I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread."

Hughes won several awards during his lifetime, including the Witter Bynner Undergraduate Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Spingarn Medal for distinguished achievements by an African American.
17. "_____ never was ______ to me." What word is missing from this blank?

Answer: America

In the emotional poem "Let America Be America Again", the poet talks of how, for many people ("the poor white, fooled and pushed apart"; "the Negro bearing slavery's scars"; "the red man driven from the land"; "the immigrant clutching the hope I seek"), America has never been the idealized version of America. The poet urges Americans to realize the dream of an ideal America where freedom and equality truly do reign:

"Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed-
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above."

Although America has not lived up to its own ideals, the poet suggests it can:

"O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath-
America will be!"
18. "I've known _____ ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins." What has the poet known?

Answer: rivers

This line comes from the poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", which concludes:

"I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers."

In 1963, Howard University awarded Langston Hughes an honorary doctorate, and in 1964, Western Reserve University awarded him an honorary Litt.D (Doctor of Letters).
19. For which class does the poet write a paper that says, "As I learn from you, / I guess you learn from me - / although you're older - and white - / and somewhat more free"?

Answer: English B

In "Theme for English B", the white teacher tells the students:

"Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you-
Then, it will be true."

The narrator of the poem reflects on his place in the world as an African-American and his relationship with the teacher:

"So will my page be colored that I write?
Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white -
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me-
although you're older-and white-
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B."

In 2002, the U.S. Postal Service put an image of Langston Hughes on a postage stamp as part of its Black Heritage series.
20. What play by Lorraine Hansberry, which debuted in 1959, takes it title from a line in the Langston Hughes poem "Harlem"?

Answer: A Raisin in the Sun

"Mule Bone" is a play by Langston Hughes. "The Color Purple" is a novel by Alice Walker. "The Invisible Man" is a novel by Ralph Ellison.

In the poem "Harlem" (also known as "A Dream Deferred") Hughes asks:

"What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-
And then run?"
21. What Langston Hughes poem, originally published as a two-page spread, contains a section titled "Listen Hungry Ones!" and satirizes economic inequality in the 1930s?

Answer: Advertisement for the Waldorf-Astoria

The poem was first published in the December 1931 issue of "The New Masses" with illustrations by Walter Steinhilber as a parody of a magazine advertisement. It was later included in "The Big Sea", the autobiography of Langston Hughes. "Listen Hungry Ones!" is the first section of the poem, which is followed by five more sections: "Roomers", "Evicted Families", "Negroes", "Everybody", and "Christmas Card".

The poem ends with a call to communist revolution:

"Listen, Mary, Mother of God, wrap your new born
babe in the red flag of revolution: The Waldorf-Astoria's the best manger we've got. For reservations: Telephone EL. 5-3000."
22. "The night is beautiful, / So the faces of _____" what?

Answer: my people

The poem "My People" continues:

"The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people

Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people."

This poem was first published in "The Crisis" in October of 1923. "The Crisis" is the official magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the first publication to publish Langston Hughes.
23. Which of the following does Langston Hughes NOT mention in his poem about "loud laughers in the hands of Fate"?

Answer: Shoe-shine boys, lawyers, and doctors

"Dream-singers,
Story-tellers,
Dancers,
Loud laughers in the hands of Fate-
My People.
Dish-washers,
Elevator-boys,
Ladies' maids,
Crap-shooters,
Cooks,
Waiters,
Jazzers,
Nurses of babies,
Loaders of ships,
Porters,
Hairdressers,
Comedians in vaudeville
And band-men in circuses-
Dream-singers all,
Story-tellers all."

In addition to his debut collection, Langston Hughes published several collections of poetry in his lifetime, including "Fine Clothes to the Jew" (1927), "The Negro Mother and Other Dramatic Recitations" (1931), "The Dream Keeper and Other Poems" (1932), "Shakespeare in Harlem" (1942), "Freedom's Plow" (1943), and "Fields of Wonder" (1947), to name a few.
24. What Langston Hughes poem begins, "I am your son, white man!"

Answer: Mulatto

Mulatto is a racial classification that has been used in the past to refer a person of mixed white and black ancestry. It's derived from the Spanish and Portuguese "mulato," which in turn comes from the Latin mūlus (mule), which is a hybrid offspring of a horse and a donkey. In late 1800s, the term was specifically used to describe people who had between three-eighths and five-eighths black ancestry. In the poem, the white father denies his mulatto son, but the son continues to insist:

"I am your son, white man!

A little yellow
Bastard boy."
25. Langston Hughes is considered an early innovator of what form of poetry?

Answer: Jazz poetry

Pastoral poetry uses country landscapes. Blank verse is unrhymed, metrical poetry. Concrete poetry, also known as shape poetry, is verse in which the effect of the poem is conveyed visually through indentations, patterns of words or letters, alignment, and other such visual devices.

Langston Hughes was an early innovator of jazz poetry, which has the feel of improvisation and demonstrates syncopated, jazz-like rhythms with repetitive phrases. Jazz poetry influenced poets of the Beat generation, and an evolutionary descendant of this type of poetry can be found in modern poetry slams.
Source: Author skylarb

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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