“I swear to the Lord, I still can't see, why Democracy means, everybody but me”. These are the words of Langston Hughes, a black writer and poet from the early twentieth century. This man was famous for his portrayal of the realities of black life and culture in America. Although some literary critics may feel that Hughes’s poetry presented an unattractive view of black life, his poetry demonstrated the reality of their lives. Many of Hughes’s poems stand out in their description of the black experience.
Vanessa Huang is a Black American rights activist. She responds to issues such as racial profiling and government policing through her poetry. Whereas many other Asian American poets typically write about their ethnic identity, Huang writes about an ethnicity that is not hers—Black American. She writes protest literature, exposing Black American’s inferior treatment by the mainstream culture. In an interview with Andrew Alexander, a journalist for Creative Loafing, Huang speaks about her thoughts on racism in the form of biased imprisonment.
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.
For instance, the harsh reality of black life is demonstrated in Hughes’ poem “Ku Klux”. The poem depicts a black man being... ... middle of paper ... ...escription of the Jim Crow laws. Some critics claim that Langston Hughes depicted an ugly representation of black life in his poetry, but these poems exhibit the truth. The legacy of Langston Hughes’ writings has had a profound effect on American literature. He was one of the first African American poets.
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
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 theme of powerlessness leads to passion that is shown in Hughes work like in “I, Too”, “Theme for English B” and “Dream Deferred” challenging racism at its core. In the “I Too” poem it’s very heartfelt because Hughes is speaking from the soul around racism. He passed through the Harlem Renaissance why facing struggles with racism. However, his writing seems clear, by using a “pictorial quality he draws a picture before our eyes what life was in 1930's” (Subhash).
In this assignment I will analyse two cultural products of the civil rights movement in America. I have chosen to analyse song lyrics and speeches which were inspired by the civil rights movement and date back to the time when the civil rights movement was well underway. I will examine the song lyrics of Bob Dylan in his song entitled “Only a Pawn in Their Game”. I will also briefly look at the lyrics of Nina Simone in her song entitled “Mississippi Goddam” and Phil Ochs’ lyrics in his song entitled “Too Many Martyrs”. I have chosen these songs since they are all very thought-provoking songs and are inspired by well known incidents of racism and murder committed against blacks in the south of America.
By incorporating history in to these parts of the novel, Toomer offers a definite role for Blacks in the twentieth century. Throughout the novel specific textual references, exemplify Toomer's dependence upon Black heritage in providing the inspiration necessary in identifying Black culture. Critic Robert Bone writes: He attained a universal vision by ignoring race as a local tr... ... middle of paper ... ...if this balance between the past and the ideas for the future can be achieved then there will come about a stronger more identifiable modern Black culture that does not add to segregation, but adds to American culture. This hope is clear in his poem "November Cotton Flower." Old folks were startled, and it soon assumed Significance.
Huggins looks deeply into Countee Cullen’s Heritage discussing “what is Africa to me?” a common identifier that united black artistry in the Harlem Renaissance, “Africa? A book one thumbs listlessly, till slumber comes” (Countee). The black community craved to be a separate society from white Americans so they were forced to go back to the past to find their heritage, before America and white oppression. Huggins finds an amazing variety of evidence within literature of this time period, exposing the raw feelings and emotion behind this intellectual movement. The connections he makes within these pieces of poetry are accurate and strong, supporting his initial thesis
She grew up in a harsh, racist time period along with The Great Depression. Brooks’ poems were influenced from this and encouraged her to write many poems about the life of a black American. “She was inspired by the black power movement and the militancy of such poets as Amiri Baraka” (Barker, 448). During the 1960s her writing underwent a racial change in style and subject matter. Brooks learned to write such great poems at the Associate of Literature and Art, Wilson Junior College, 1936.