Comparing Poems 'I, Too And' Theme For English B

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The civil rights movement may have technically ended in the nineteen sixties, but America is still feeling the adverse effects of this dark time in history today. African Americans were the group of people most affected by the Civil Rights Act and continue to be today. Great pain and suffering, though, usually amounts to great literature. This period in American history was no exception. Langston Hughes was a prolific writer before, during, and after the Civil Rights Act and produced many classic poems for African American literature. Hughes uses theme, point of view, and historical context in his poems “I, Too” and “Theme for English B” to expand the views on African American culture to his audience members.
Looking at the historical context of each poem shows that the political movements of the time had a large effect on Hughes’s two poems. The timeline between the two poems is an interesting one to analyze. “I, Too” was written in nineteen twenty-six and “Theme for English B” was written in nineteen fifty-one (Rampersad). Many events relating to the civil rights movement happened during the years between the two poems. The nineteen twenties were filled with racism, intolerance, and …show more content…

The speaker talks about how challenging his assignment to write about the truth when everybody’s truth is different (15). Race was a large factor in how the speaker saw himself. He was born in the South, a place where colored culture and people were widely rejected. The speaker has never felt free in his life: how could he complete this assignment about writing about the truth when it could not set him free? This is where “I, Too” and “Theme for English B” draw similarities. Race is an obstacle both speakers had to face but were able to successfully overcome it. In fact, the speakers embraced their race and made it their life’s determination surpass all

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