This is another allusion; this time he is referring to George Washington. He demonstrates that the presence of African Americans have been around for centuries working as slaves. By putting blac... ... middle of paper ... ... This shows the suffering of African Americans throughout history and their worldwide role in enlightening others about it. The readers can feel the emotions of hatred, sadness, and cruelty from the pain from the African Americans.
“The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes is a compelling poem in which Hughes explores not only his own past, but the past of the black race. As the rivers deepen over time, the Negro's soul does too; their waters eternally flow, as the black soul suffers. Analyzing the poem’s title sets a somber, yet prideful tone for this poem. The fact that the title does not say “I Speak of Rivers,” but instead, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” (1) shows that he is not only a Negro, but that he is not one specific Negro, but in his first person commentary, he is speaking for all Negroes. However, he is not just speaking for any Negroes.
"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.
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 many that have perished at the feet of racism are the history of African Americans themselves, and the African American literary tradition makes it a priority to be true to that history. So why is death a theme in the African American literary tradition? Death, in itself, is a universal phenomenon, with no exception; it touches the lives of all persons regardless of their social status or ethnic heritage. Likewise, death is a universal theme in literature, but its relevance in the African American literature is particularly poignant because of the loyalty that African American writers have to their history. With the help of works of Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave , Negro spirituals (“I feel like my time ain’t long” and “Many Thousands Gone”) and Abel Meeropol’s “Strange Fruits,” modern African American literature like late sermons from Martine Luther King Jr. and Elizabeth Alexander’s “ Praise Song for the Day” has utilize the universal theme of death to symbolize the racial injustice that African Americans experience in the own country and they also utilize such a strong theme to declare ... ... middle of paper ... ...rt-breaking result of racism in the United States and the subject has made its way into the African American literary tradition.
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.
On the surface, hate is a representation of extreme dislike. However, hatred is much more than this; hate is a passion that grows and blossoms inside someone as anger until it reaches its final form. The poems “America” and “The White City” by Claude McKay convey the complex experiences and feelings of African Americans in America in the early 1900s (Arp and Johnson 253, 254). In both of these poems, McKay demonstrates this feeling of hatred through varying poetic devices and tools. In America during the time these poems were written, African Americans were combated with issues of segregation and inequality.
These poems were both written in the 1900’s, past the age of slavery and into the age of unequal treatment for the black man/woman. There were two different types of views to read these poems, the social perspective and the archetypal perspective. For The Explorer it portrayed a troubled apartment building that was full of the speaker’s people who were hurt, and for Frederick Douglass it portrayed how badly the African Americans needed liberty; when it came to archetypal both poems displayed the need for their people’s torment to be ended. The Explorer displayed a common place for a common black citizen of America which was the apartment buildings they inhabited, which were full of all their problems. These buildings have developed into neighbor hoods that are considered dangerous to this day.
The critically acclaimed African American scholar, W.E.B. DuBois, contends the strife of minority groups (specifically African Americans) in the United States. DuBois sets the opening scene for other African American literary artists who use literature as a means of self-expression and explanation. According to DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk, African Americans have developed two identities in American society: “This double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, -- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder” (DuBois 527).
“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.