Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes Langston Hughes is regarded as one of the "most eloquent of American poets to have sung the wounds of political injustice." While some of his poetry can be classified as non-racial most of it can be categorized as literature of protest. Hughes background and personal beliefs were quite influential in his writing and it is reflected in his tremendous discontent for the "white man's world." Three of his works that that display this feeling and similar theme include "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Porter," and "Refugee in America." Langston Hughes was born and educated in the South during what can be classified as "Jim Crow" years. Although through most of his career he did not really live in the South, he did not forget all of its injustices. In fact, the experiences he gained from that portion of his life became the basis for his form of protest literature. Needless to say, his early life played a major influence throughout his career. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", one of Hughes most famous works, is basically a "history" of black society. In this poem, black society is, in a way, the speaker. The speaker has watched how slavery has taken its people out of a state of nature and placed them into "bondage." The poem is obviously addressed to the members of black society who seem to find some discontentment in the lifestyle they live in a "white man's world." However, there is an optimistic undertone in that the speaker does show how much African Americans have endured. It is obvious that Hughes believes that "black power" will reemerge in one form or another. Through the course of this poem the speaker is basically saying that he has seen black history from beginning to end and underst... ... middle of paper ... ...t he has had some traumatic experience in which the white man has treated him poorly. Very similar to the rest of the poems it is obvious that the theme of this poem involves black society taking action as a whole. It is not enough to "sing" freedom. Black society must gain their liberty as a whole. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Porter," and "Refugee in America" are all prime examples of the way in which Hughes chose to use literature as a form of protest. His experiences in Dixie Land were never forgotten and very obvious throughout his literary career. While very remorseful about his place in society as a black man, Hughes still manages to convey a theme of hope that is still expressed every time his works are read to this day. Langston Hughes would be proud to see just how much the work of he and his colleges has paid off throughout the years.

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