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This chapter discusses the dynamics between Black artists and white patrons during the Harlem Renaissance told through the turbulent relationship between Langston Hughes and his literary “Godmother,” Charlotte Osgood Mason. The chapter begins with a discussion of Hughes’s groundbreaking 1926 essay, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” and explores the complex connection between the independent spirit of the sentiments expressed in that essay to the deeper acknowledgment of the perennial pressures exerted by white literary gatekeepers and Black artists that dominate some of his later work, particularly his 1934 short story collection, The Ways of White Folks.
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