Langston Hughes And The Harlem Renaissance

634 Words2 Pages

During the 1920's and 30’s, America went through a period of astonishing artistic creativity, the majority of which was concentrated in one neighborhood of New York City, Harlem. The creators of this period of growth in the arts were African-American writers and other artists. Langston Hughes is considered to be one of the most influential writers of the period know as the Harlem Renaissance. With the use of blues and jazz Hughes managed to express a range of different themes all revolving around the Negro. He played a major role in the Harlem Renaissance, helping to create and express black culture. He also wrote of political views and ideas, racial inequality and his opinion on religion. I believe that Langston Hughes’ poetry helps to capture the era know as the Harlem Renaissance. One of the advantages of how he wrote his poetry is that it can take hold of people by exemplifying his accounts of the everyday life that the disenfranchised experience. Hughes took on the injustices that other dared no to speak of. He wrote about how the African-American people of the 1920’s suffered the plight of racial inequality. In many cases I believe that Hughes used his writing as an instrument of change. In “Come to the Waldorf-Astoria” (506) Hughes tackles the drastic disparity between wealthy whites and the African Americans of the 1930’s. This piece displays an unconventional style for a poem; using satire to capture the reader’s attention. By using this satiric form of poetry Hughes is able to play on the emotions of the white reader, while at the same time inspiring the black readers. Hughes is constantly comparing the luxuries of the Waldorf-Astoria to the hardships that the African American people were experiencing. “It's cold as he... ... middle of paper ..., representing the truth of the times. The majority of the problems influence only the one dreamer, however, the ending suggests that, when despair is everywhere, it may "explode" and cause social and political uprising. “Harlem” brings to light the anxiety between the need for Negro expression and the opposition to that need because of society’s subjugation of its black populace. His lines confront the racist and unjust attitude common in American society before the civil rights movement of the 1960s. it expresses the belief that black wishes and dreams were irrelevant should be ignored. His closing rhetorical question—“Or does [a dream deferred] explode?”—is aggressive, a testimony that the inhibition of black dreams might result in a revolution. It places the blame for this possible revolution on the domineering society that forces the deferment of the dream.

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