(And still are.) In anything that white people were likely to read, they wanted to put their best foot forward, their politely polished and cultural foot—and only that foot.
In fact, the title which was misunderstood and disliked by many people, was derived from the Harlemites Hughes saw pawning their own clothing; most of the pawn shops and other stores in Harlem at that time were owned by Jewish people.
As with most other humans, he usually fails to achieve either of these goals and sometimes once achieved they disappoint him. Simple has a tough resilience, however, that won’t allow him to brood over a failure very long. Simple is a well-developed character, both believable and lovable.
The situations he meets and discusses are so true to life everyone may enter the fun." A reviewer for commented on the popularity of Simple: “The people responded.
As David Littlejohn observed in his "On the whole, Hughes’ creative life [was] as full, as varied, and as original as Picasso’s, a joyful, honest monument of a career.
There [was] no noticeable sham in it, no pretension, no self-deceit; but a great, great deal of delight and smiling irresistible wit.
Before he was 12 years old he had lived in six different American cities.
When his first book was published, he had already been a truck farmer, cook, waiter, college graduate, sailor, and doorman at a nightclub in Paris, and had visited Mexico, West Africa, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Holland, France, and Italy.
“Regrettably, in different poems, he is fatally prone to sympathize with starkly antithetical politics of race,” Lieberman commented. The age demands intellectual commitment from its spokesmen.
A poetry whose chief claim on our attention is moral, rather than aesthetic, must take sides politically.” Hughes’s position in the American literary scene seems to be secure.