In America during the time these poems were written, African Americans were combated with issues of segregation and inequality. The poem “America” describes African American feelings toward the country of America; whereas, “The White City” describes African American feelings toward segregation and individual experiences. Both of these poems successfully display different interpretations of hate through the use of various literary devices. Understanding hatred in its complexity and the uses it has for African Americans is accurately displayed through these poems with passion. These poems both focus on the negative emotions of anguish and resentment associated with the unequal treatment of African Americans, and, through the use of tone and metaphor, the differences between individual and group experiences are illuminated.
He is part of the African-American race that is expressed in his writing. He writes about how he is currently oppressed, but this does not diminish his hope and will to become the equal man. Because he speaks from the point of view of an oppressed African-American the poem’s struggles and future changes seem to be of greater importance than they ordinarily would. The point of view of being the oppressed African American is clearly evident in Langston Hughes’s writing. The author states, “I am the darker brother” (2.2) Here Hughes is clearly speaking on behalf of the African American race because during the early and mid 1900’s African American were oppressed because of their darker skin color.
Langston Hughes was passionate about expressing the lives of black people through his poetry. His poetry expressed the pain and suffering that black people had to endure. Many critics have claimed that Langston Hughes created an unattractive view of black life through his poetry, but he was only demonstrating the realities of their lives. He didn’t make up stories about how great life was; he wrote realistically about the fear, segregation, and lost innocence of the black race. Langston Hughes left an immense impression on the literature of his time period.
Throughout this essay I will discuss, describe and interpret Sympathy and We Wear the Mask. Both Sympathy and We Wear the Mask were written by Paul Laurence Dunbar. To begin with, the poem Sympathy suggests to the reader a comparison between the lifestyle of the caged bird, and the African American. Paul Laurence Dunbar’s center of attention of Sympathy is how the African American identifies and relates to the frustrations and pain that a caged bird experiences. Dunbar begins the poem by stating “I know what the caged bird feels, alas!”(African American Literature page 922).
Langston Hughes was an important figure in writing about the struggles of African Americans. His poems express vivid imagery that allows readers to understand the conflicts blacks went through during the 1900’s. In his poem, “A Dream Deferred”, Langston Hughes describes the attitudes of black Americans during times of struggle and limited rights. Blacks had dreams in the 1900’s such as economic, social, and educational equality, and other basic civil rights. Unfortunately, racism was a barrier that got in the way of achieving these goals.
The critically acclaimed African American scholar, W.E.B. DuBois, contends the strife of minority groups (specifically African Americans) in the United States. DuBois sets the opening scene for other African American literary artists who use literature as a means of self-expression and explanation. According to DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk, African Americans have developed two identities in American society: “This double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, -- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder” (DuBois 527).
Race has been a prevalent issue in the United Sates since the beginning of slavery. White society seems to think that race is biologically manifested in a person’s skin color. In Incognegro, a graphic novel by Matt Johnson, the main character, Zane Pinchback, exposes lynchings and other horrendous crimes that white people commit against Black people in the South. He demonstrates that race is not entirely manifested in a person’s skin color because people treat him as white, even though he is biologically both Black and white. In discussing his infiltration of the South, his perspective that “Race is a strategy.
“Together the matrices of race and music occupied similar position and shared the same spaces in the works of some of the most lasting texts of Enlightenment thought..., by the end of the eighteenth century, music could embody differences and exhibit race…. Just as nature gave birth and form to race, so music exhibited remarkable affinities to nature” (Radano and Bohlman 2000: 14). Radano and Bohlman pointed out that nature is a source of differences that give rise to the different racial identities. As music embodies the physical differences of human, racial differences are not only confined to the differences in physical appearances, but also the differences in many musical features, including language, tonality and vocal expression. Nonetheless, music is the common ground of different racial identities.
“Together the matrices of race and music occupied similar position and shared the same spaces in the works of some of the most lasting texts of Enlightenment thought..., by the end of the eighteenth century, music could embody differences and exhibit race…. Just as nature gave birth and form to race, so music exhibited remarkable affinities to nature” (Radano and Bohlman 2000: 14). Radano and Bohlman pointed out that nature is a source of differences; Racial identities, inevitably, exist because of these differences. However, as racial identities are founded on the differences of physical appearances, they are displayed through the differences of music, as music embodies the physical differences of human. Racial differences are magnified through many musical features, including language, tonality and vocal expression.
I would also say xenophobia to be the using one’s culture by way of ignorance to belittle another’s culture, and ideologies according them inferior. Both xenophobia and racism have been significant to the experience of blacks in the U.S. Xenophobia was essentially the basis of what became racism. The blacks were considered different and othered based on the mere pigment of their skin. This sense of xenophobia was projected to be so largely that large scale racism was than instituted. Racism and xenophobia is the end to all beginnings in the othering of blacks in the U.S.