Many of Hughes’s poems stand out in their description of the black experience. Some of the poems that stand out include “Ku Klux,” “House In the World,” and “Children’s Rhymes.” These poems delve into the world of fear, segregation, and the lost innocence of black culture. These poems genuinely demonstrate the difficult lives most black people had to live. Langston Hughes was one of the most influential black poets of the twentieth century. He took part in the Harlem Renaissance and taught the world about black life and culture.
Wallace Thurman, one of Hughes’ closest friends had this to say about the poet’s subject matter: “He went for inspiration and rhythms to those people who had been the least absorbed by the quagmire of American Kultur, and from them he undertook to select and preserve such autonomous racial values as were being rapidly eradicated in order to speed the Negro’s assimilation.” ( Bloom 161) To many black critics, including Thurman, the subjects of Langston Hughes’ poetry exposed an aspect of the black culture that, according to Countee Cullen threw wide, “every door of the racial entourage, to the wholesale gaze of the world at large (Bloom 152).” Hughes was a lover of his people and sought to explain and illuminate the Negro condition in America. He created works of literature that were distinctively Negro in their elements: Without repudiating the Americanness of the Afro American, he defined how a work of art by a black American can be Negro, the artist’s Americanness notwithstanding…..The black artist stands a good chance of capturing the Negro soul if he looks for his material not among the “self-styled “hi-class” Negroes,” but among “the low down folks”, the ... ... middle of paper ... ...gston Hughes manifested itself in “The Weary Blues”. Hughes wrote the poem to be played to music and it was performed with an accompaniment of jazz in the background. The flow of the poem is in tune to a blues beat. It incorporates the slow mellow mood of the blues and its easy free flow of thought.
The blacks that Hughes focuses most of his writing on are the “most burdened and oppressed of the black underclass, and people who have the most reason to despair but show the least evidence of it” (Bloom, “Thematic Analysis of the ‘Weary Blues’” 14). He tells the story of their life and times to voice his displeasure with the oppression of blacks (“Langston Hughes” 792). His work opens the public’s eye about what it is like to be black in America (“Langston Hughes” 792). In Hughes’ short poem “Harlem,” the speaker of the poem questions how the African American dream of equal opportunity is being constantly deferred and suppressed by white society (Niemi 1). Hughes wants his work to illuminate the fact that blacks miss opportunities due to their oppression.
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's stories deal conditions of befalling African Americans during one of our history’s most oppressed times and promoting the African American culture. As Jeff Westover explains in “Langston Hughes 1902-1967: Africa/America” in one detail, “America's political self-definitions provide the poet with the basis for challenging the status quo and demanding change from the government that supports it”. Hughes's stories speak of the African-Americans as being overlooked by a biased society. Hughes's poetry “attempts to draw attention to the catastrophic history of black people in Africa and the United States. Challenging racism and oppression by bringing to the foreground narratives of humiliation and violence against their people” according to Mothe Subhash in “Violation of Human Rights of the Negro's in the Poems of Langston Hughes”.
The pain of racism and diminished humanity rings through the work. Ellison's own life met with many of the same challenges, yet he made the story one not limited to the African American community. As the last sentence of the book asks, Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you? Bibliography Bloom, Harold. Ed.
On the contrary, Hughes¹s poems had a tremendous influence on African-American society. Although scholars and critics throughout his career dismissed his poetry as too ³simple and unlearned,² his primary audience, the black masses, and even Hughes himself viewed his work as ³folk poetry² which was beneath criticism. (Rampersad 4-5) His poems, when studied as a collection over the span of his life, clearly show how the tone and emphasis in the writing reflect the mood of Hughes himself as he grew old. The universal theme of racism and race relations defined all the important work of Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes Danny Belinkie December 23, 1999 Period 2 Works Cited Emanuel, James.
The Civil War was a fight against slavery in the mid to late 1800s. When the North won and abolished slavery, the South still had the mindset of slavery; they thought that black people or previous slaves were below them like they had always been. Different black people had different responses to this heinous behavior by the white Southerners. Some accepted the discriminatory treatment by the whites while others wanted vengeance for the belittling treatment as slaves. In the book The Marrow of Tradition, there are multiple black characters who exhibit different responses to the racism shown in different events throughout the novel.
His mother’s side of the family included someone who fought and died alongside of John Brown, the abolitionist, during his famous revolt of 1859 (Rampersad). As an active civil rights protester in his poems, knowing his family routes as well as living in a time and place where racial prejudice was apparent, it must have inspired his beliefs and later his works when approaching the topic. The majority of his most famous works are about the advancement of African American rights and Harlem does not stray from that theme. While being inspired by African Americans, the poem mainly focuses on the efforts of the poor. Specifically, those made by African
“Democracy” is a slightly stern and direct request to take action and fight for civil rights. “Theme for English B” is a compassionate and low-key personal anecdote that reiterates the unpracticed concept that “all men are created equal”. Despite the difference in tone and subject, all four poems relate to the central theme that dignity is something that white men may take for granted, but Langston Hughes, as a black man and a writer, sees and feels dignity as fight and a struggle that he faced and that the black community as whole faces every day. Works Cited Hughes, Langston. “Visitors to the Black Belt”, Note on Commercial Theatre”, “Democracy”, Theme for English B” : The Norton Anthology of English Literature Gen. ed.