An Analysis of The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Good Essays
The 1920s and 1930s were the years of the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance. This period of the Roaring Twenties is said to have begun around the end of the war and lasted well until the Great Depression. Partially due to the migration of more and more African Americans into the north of the United States, the national literature, arts and music movement developed into something, until then, completely new and literary modernism spread further (Perkins and Perkins 212). The 1920s were a time of immense change, with women becoming eligible to vote, alcoholic beverages become prohibited to sell, and later on the crash of the stock market (Perkins and Perkins). With modernism and the invention of new things like the television, Americans had more time to enjoy life and culture, which promoted the popularity of African American arts as well. Great artists like Louis Armstrong made Jazz more popular and engaged even large crowds of white Americans. At the same time, the migration of African Americans to the north, especially New York City, sparked a movement called the Harlem Renaissance. Renaissance is the french word for revival or rebirth, which is exactly how the Harlem Renaissance can be described. The New York City neighborhood Harlem grew bigger and bigger and soon became one of the world's largest communities for people of African descent. While the African American poetry, arts and music scene expanded immensely, it subsided abruptly with the onset of the Great Depression (Perkins and Perkins). However, a few people including “Claude McKay, Jean Tooner, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes” (Perkins and Perkins) carried on with this new cultural awareness and contributed immensely to the American literary scene.
Langston Hug...

... middle of paper ... and is still influencing today's literary scene immensely. While his writings' meanings are not always apparent at first glance, when taking a look at historical events and sites mentioned in his work, the connections between his cultural background and society becomes clearer. Due to his eloquence and importance of topics chosen, Langston Hughes is a great representative of the Harlem renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s.

Works Cited

Hughes, Susan. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” American Literature Since the Civil War. Create edition. New York, NY: McGraw - Hill, 2011. 166-175. E-Book.
Muhesen, Sultan. "The Earliest Paleolithic Occupation in Syria." Trans. Array Neandertals and Modern Humans in Western Asia. New York, NY: Springer US, 2002. 95-105. Print.
Perkins and Perkins. American Literature Since the Civil War. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2011. E-Book.