Characteristics of The Harlem Renaissance in the Works of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay

Characteristics of The Harlem Renaissance in the Works of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay

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The Harlem Renaissance took place between 1919 and 1935; it was a movement that included literary arts, specifically the portrayal of black life from a realistic view; it is known as one of the most influential movements as it was the development of the African American culture (Hutchinson 1). In the renaissance blacks essentially made a new identity for themselves; known as the “new negro”, this included no longer allowing whites to treat them as if they were not humans; additionally they would breakdown the stereotypes of blacks and not let whites dictate them because of their color, past, or financial status (Morgan 214). The Harlem Renaissance is fundamentally a group of black literati, such as writers, poets, etc. that got together and decided to change the perception of blacks amongst whites in order to prove to whites that blacks could be just as capable as them in life. Some of the writers involved in the renaissance were poets, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay; in these poets works there are distinctive characteristics of the Harlem Renaissance that are present. The main characteristics that all three writers include in their works is social activism
Langston Hughes was a poet in the Harlem Renaissance; he was a communist, this meant that he preached equality; he is also one of the most known poets of the renaissance. One of the main characteristics in Hughes’s works is the allusions he uses to refer to black history; these allusions are used in many of his works, for example, in “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Hughes writes “I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. / I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. / I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. / I heard the sin...


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International Bibliography. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.

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