Expression of the African American Experience Through Poetry During the Harlem Renaissance

Expression of the African American Experience Through Poetry During the Harlem Renaissance

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Poetry is something that affects everyone that reads it. If you find the kind that you like then you only tend to read that type, and sometimes that is all a person needs because that certain type of poetry is so connected to them. In the Harlem Renaissance era there were a lot of poets who brought African American voices into the mainstream of American society. This is the type of poetry that really touched people and pushed them to read more poetry like it. Langston Hughes, Lucille Clifton and Colleen McElroy were all poets that wrote about what being an African American in the United States was like and what they had to deal with throughout their lives. None of these were happy poems. They all pointed out the realities of what they had to go through and had to continue go through because no one did anything to help them. Hughes, Clifton and McElroy were the African American voices that found their way into the American society, but every one of these poets each had different cultural heritages and this shows in their poetry.
Colleen McElroy has a certain voice in her poem For My Children that helps people to realize how much has changed from her childhood to her own children’s. This poem is a way of telling people who were not African American about how they passed down what they knew from their history from generation to generation. There was no family tree or family history about where your parents or even siblings were or came from if you were African American. This poem is full of facts and information about these stories that have been passed down to her. All of these stores and facts have the greatest of meanings to anyone she is telling them to because it now means that they know something. Another thing that is reall...


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...nd what these people did have to go through every day.
Hughes, Clifton and McElroy were the African American voices in the early American society and everyone viewed their poems of different types of poetry, but not of different themes or heritage. All of the poems written by these poets are very well written and written in a way to help and make you understand what they are talking about and how difficult it was in their everyday life. How they had to just push through and hope for the next generation to be better, that is why that always passed on stories, whether they were true or not. This is why they did not speak up, because nothing could be done. One day they will “see how beautiful I am and be ashamed.” This is saying that one day everything will fall into place and people will realize that skin color means nothing more than the color of ones eyes or hair.

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