THE FIRST BOOK OF NEGROES uses as a frame narrative the story of "Terry Lane whose skin is brown as a walnut and whose hair is black and beautifully crinkly." Terry lives in Harlem, which means that he is able to go about freely, and that he goes to school with white and Puerto Rican children. "If Terry lived in the South he could not go to school with white children, nor could they go to school with him." Hughes goes on to describe Jim Crowe, which "seemed very silly to Terry."
Langston Hughes, a Harlem Renaissance poet, helped pave the way for African American writers to be heard in the 1900's with his first published book "The Weary Blues" which was published in 1926. This was yet another way that Modernist literature was creating a new atmosphere in American Society.