Langston Hughes and Religion

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Langston Hughes and Religion Langston Hughes in several poems denounced religion, inferring that religion did not exist any longer. In reading these poems, the reader canes that Hughes was expressing his feelings of betrayal and abandonment, against his race, by religion and the church. Hughes had a talent for writing poems that would start a discussion. From these discussions, Hugh es could only hope for realization from the public, of how religion and the church treated the Black race. Hughes wrote two poems that generated a lot of discussion about religion and African-Americans. One was “Drama for Winter Night (Fifth Avenue),” the other was “Goodbye Christ.” Once when Hughes was asked about religion, he responded, “ I grew up in a not very religious family, but I had a foster aunt who saw that I went to church and Sunday school” (qtd. In Emanuel 914). Even though Hughes grew up attending church and Sunday school he could see how religion and churches treated his race. This is evident in “Drama for Winter Night (Fifth Avenue)”. The poem begins: You can’t sleep here My good man, You can’t sleep here. This is the house of God. The usher opens the church door and goes out. (1-5). In doing this, the usher of the church on “Fifth Avenue,” abandoned someone less fortunate in order to maintain a good appearance. This “house of God,” which should be opening its doors to give a he lping hand, turns away a man in need of help. Hughes shows betrayal in the same poem, when the less fortunate man asks St. Peter if he can stay. St. Peter replies, “You ca... ... middle of paper ... ...nt of the Black race by religion and the church. I feel Hughes was successful in this endeavor. Hughes sums his whole perspective of religion, the church and the Black race, when he told a reporter, “Religion is one of the innate needs of mankind. What I am against is the misuse of religion.” (qtd. Emanuel 914). Works Cited Berry, Faith. “On Hughes’s Repudiation of ‘Goodbye Christ.’ “ Meyer. 916-17 Emanuel, James A. “Hughes’s Attitudes toward Religion.” Meyer. 914-15. Hughes, Langston. “Drama for Winter Night (Fifth Avenue).” Meyer. 891: ---. “Goodbye Christ.” Meyer 898-99. Meyer, Michael. ed. “Langston Hughes (1902-1967).” The Bedford Introduction to Literature 4th ed. Boston: St. Mart in’s Press,1996. 883-89. Meyer, Michael. ed. The Bedford Introduction to Literature. 4th ed.Boston: St.Martin’s
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