Within the works of Langston Hughes the theme of prejudiceness is portrayed in many pieces (Ed 2). Growing up as an African American boy there were situations where people prejudged him just because of his skin tone, of course the situations were hurtful, but it later on helped build a powerful story or poem (Ed 2). For this reason, Langston Hughes often narrowed in on the African American working class (Williams 2). Coupled with the African American working class, an individual 's race created a separation between people (Sundquist 2). The separation of individuals for no other reason but their skin tone infuriated Hughes and he took it to pen and paper to express the differences and opposing treatment of civilians (Sundquist 2). When it came to Langston Hughes the achievement of being the best was not his goal, rather it was to get his words across and let people relate or realize what he is telling. Along with the process of seeking awareness, Hughes worked with the categories “racial insights and national attitudes” (Emanuel 119). In addition to the way African Americans were treated, the chances of working and education were also unequal. The opening for a job tended to be much easier for a white citizen to get when being compared to someone with darker skin (MacNicholas 318). White citizens also believed they were superior and that African Americans were outsiders, therefore African Americans education wasn’t taken as seriously or wasn’t available to them (MacNicholas 318). Keeping the focus of racial prejudiceness in mind, Langston Hughes’ works pinpointed mainly cities and when being interviewed about what his goal in his writings is “Hughes replied “I explain and illuminate the Negro working condition in America. This applies to 90 percent of my work” (Emanuel 68-69). Langston Hughes, being an African
Following the Civil War, America underwent many changes during the Reconstruction era to reach where it needed to be or where it should’ve been. The purpose of reconstruction was to rebuild the South after the Union’s victory in the war that freed all the slaves the South had and needed. During this period, there were ratifications of amendments, social and economic factors that affected African Africans, and the end of reconstruction.
Even when the Amendment abolished slavery in 1865, and the black people embraced education, built their own churches, reunited with their broken families and worked very hard in the sharecropping system, nothing was enough for the Reconstruction to succeed. Whites never gave total freedom to African Americans. Blacks were forced to endure curfews, passes, and living on rented land, which put them in a similar situation as slaves. In
The four-year war between the states not only left the southern cities destroyed, economy in shambles and its people destitute, but it also introduced an overwhelming population of former slaves to be integrated into the folds of the victorious Union. Freedom for the blacks came slow and progress on their behalf was contaminated, inconsistent and feeble. Freedmen and women, accustomed to strife and adversity, desired only equality as citizens of the United States, however that status was going to come at a hefty price. Lincoln proclaimed the slaves freedom in the midst of the Civil War, but that freedom was neither instant nor accepted at war’s end. With great uncertainty and only the title of freedmen the black community immediately sought out their greatest needs no matter what brutality they faced from those that refused to accept their freedom.
Prejudice is a cancer that spreads hate among its perpetrators and victims alike. In 1930 Langston Hughes penned the novel, Not Without Laughter. This powerful story, written from the perspective of an African-American boy named James “Sandy” Rodgers, begins in the early 1900’s in the small town of Stanton, Kansas. Through the eyes of young Sandy, we see the devastating impact of racism on his family and those they are close to. We also see how the generations of abuse by whites caused a divide within the black community. Among, and even within, black families there were several social classes that seemed to hinge on seeking equality through gaining the approval of whites. The class someone belonged to was determined by the color of their skin, the type of church one attended, their level of education, and where an individual was able to find work.
In general, there were many changes during the Reconstruction years as blacks learned to adapted to their new struggles as free people. They went from the Southern plantations working for no pay to migrating west to making their own way. In the process, they learned to be self-independent of the whites by having building their own churches, schools and the role of black leaders starts to emerge to ignite the black race. The famous leaders such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois during the Reconstruction years made an impact on African American history.
After the whole Civil War had ended, one of the bigger problems through the South was labor because of the freedom that the African Americans received. To the African-Americans who had gone through slavery their entire lives, freedom meant so many things besides just being free. It meant that they had freedom from whites who controlled them, freedom from the unimaginable regulations of slavery, freedom to have their huge meetings amongst themselves and to worship, freedom to have their own property, not to mention freedom to have land and to work on it freely without wipes or chains. When it came to black people wanting to work for themselves, not for the masters. When it came to the African Americans during the Reconstruction there were many hardships and happenings that they struggled first hand. African Americans saw that there was really no hope for the possibly of owning their own land but the idea of at least developing a secure economic independence was still in their hopeful future. Surprising enough, White people were upset over the fact that the black did migrate to the cities which labor for whites and also allowed African Americans more opportunities to compete for jobs and also put them almost to the same social status as the whites. It is interesting the vast improvement in African American lifestyles occurred after the Civil War and how quickly reconstruction started. The black migration began at the end of the Civil War, which really took in account the African Americans in evolving and leaving cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and New York back in that time frame. Which ended up being one of the largest movements of their time. People moved from these disturbing areas and small towns in the South t...
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” (Martin Luther King Jr., “I had a dream speech”). Racism, a strong weapon used against equality. Langston Hughes portrayed his view of societal racism in poetry and songs. Quite a strong soldier in the war against prejudice, his train of thought was precisely what society needs, yet fears. Racism should be distinguished, but is as strong as ever. The end of its reign would enhance the ability of minorities in terms of jobs, societal acceptance, and life in general. Langston Hughes communicates his theme of racism and overcoming it through his use of Symbolism, Tone, and Anthropomorphism.
Both Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes were great writers but their attitudes towards their personal experience as an African American differed in many ways. These differences can be attributed to various reasons that range from gender to life experience but even though they had different perceptions regarding the African American experience, they both shared one common goal, racial equality through art. To accurately delve into the minds of the writers’ one must first consider authors background such as their childhood experience, education, as well their early adulthood to truly understand how it affected their writing in terms the similarities and differences of the voice and themes used with the works “How it Feels to be Colored Me” by Hurston and Hughes’ “The Negro Mother”. The importance of these factors directly correlate to how each author came to find their literary inspiration and voice that attributed to their works.
The United States of America is known today as the land of the free and home of the brave, but it has not always been like this. Equality among all is nothing but a dream. The year is 1951, and racism is stronger than ever. In cities around the country, African Americans are segregated and deprived of their goals and dreams. Not many voices speak out against this injustice, but one man stands strong to face such an injustice. Throughout the criticism, he held the same message: the world needs to change. In Langston Hughes ' work, "Harlem", Hughes speaks for civil rights through the influence of the jazz age and observation of oppression.