Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form, jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period – “the Negro was in vogue.”
Hughes’ writings strived to portray an accurate picture of black people during his time. Hughes criticized the divisions and prejudices based on skin color within the black community, and he wrote what would be considered a manifesto: “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” published in The Nation in 1926.
Biko was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. He founded the Black Consciousness Movement that would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody in 1977, he has been called a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement.
While he lived, his writing and activism empowered black people, and he was famous for the slogan “Black is Beautiful,” which he described as meaning: “Man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being.”