Essay on The Harlem Renaissance By Langston Hughes And Claude Mckay

Essay on The Harlem Renaissance By Langston Hughes And Claude Mckay

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Albert Einstein is thought to have popularised the idea that society favours the logical mind - which people are taught to use - over the one of creativity and intuition, which cannot be learned. However, the Harlem Renaissance is a key cultural movement that shows the value of creative forms in bringing about political and social change. This African American movement generated distinctly black works of literature that ushered in a change of racial relations in the United States. Leading this movement were Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, whose literature contributed to the Harlem Renaissance by raising awareness of what it meant to be black in the United States and developing a new African American cultural identity.
Both To The White Fiends by Claude McKay and The Negro Artist and The Racial Mountain by Langston Hughes chronicle what it was like to be a black person in America during the nineteen-twenties. This topic is characterised by the theme of marginalisation and tones of sadness, anger, and loathing. Originally coming from Jamaica, McKay was perturbed by the adversity he faced in the United States, as it was thought to be the country of new opportunities and youthful minds. In 1918, the Jamaican author wrote in Pearson’s Magazine his reaction to the racism he encountered:
“It was the first time I had ever come face to face with such manifest, implacable hate of my race, and my feelings were indescribable. At first I was horrified; my spirit revolted against the ignorable cruelty and blindness of it all… Then I found myself hating in return, but this feeling could not last long for to hate is to be miserable.” (275).
Claude McKay wrote To The White Fiends shortly after his arrival in the United States. The poem power...


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...ongst the black community and gave them representation. The poetry spearheaded by McKay and Hughes celebrating African Americans and their culture during a time of such mammoth segregation and discrimination served as an effective means of self-assertion, and helped to remove them from the fringes of society.
The literary works of Claude McKay and Langston Hughes established them as key voices of the Harlem Renaissance, which rallied for a celebration and integration of African American culture in the United States. Their literature saw to separating the ‘black man’ from the obstructive stereotypes that had put a strain on relationships between African Americans and their heritage. The creative minds of Hughes and McKay added to a movement that used art forms such as music, paintings, and literature to achieve social and political progress in the United States.


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