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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
Characteristics of The Harlem Renaissance in the Works of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay
- The Harlem Renaissance took place between 1919 and 1935; it was a movement that included literary arts, specifically the portrayal of black life from a realistic view; it is known as one of the most influential movements as it was the development of the African American culture (Hutchinson 1). In the renaissance blacks essentially made a new identity for themselves; known as the “new negro”, this included no longer allowing whites to treat them as if they were not humans; additionally they would breakdown the stereotypes of blacks and not let whites dictate them because of their color, past, or financial status (Morgan 214).... [tags: history of New York neighborhoods]
1067 words (3 pages)
- The Harlem Renaissance was a time where creativity flourished throughout the African American community. At the time many African Americans were treated as second class citizens. The Harlem Renaissance acted as artistic and cultural outlet for the African-American community. The Harlem Renaissance, otherwise known as “The New Negro Movement” was an unexpected outburst of creative activity among African Americans In the poems Harlem by Langston Hughes, America by Claude McKay, and Incident by Countee Cullen all use frustration and hope as reoccurring themes to help empower the African-American population and realize the injustices they face day to day.... [tags: Harlem, America, Incident]
1069 words (3.1 pages)
- 1. Describes each author’s role and importance within the Harlem Renaissance. The poets I choose are Claude McKay (1889-1948) who wrote the poem “If We Must Die” and Langston Hughes (1902-1967) who wrote the poem “Jazz Band in a Parisian Cabaret”. Each Poet had a really important role and importance in the Harlem Renaissance. Claude McKay is a poet who was born in Jamaica and left for the U.S in 1912. McKay generally published in white avant-garde magazines and occasionally in magazines like The Crisis.... [tags: Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes]
979 words (2.8 pages)
- The poet, Langston Hughes, was an iconic contributor to the Harlem Renaissance and an avid promoter of racial equality in America. His works were politically fueled and contained powerful messages that related to the everyday struggle and hardship faced by the African American population. Hughes spoke often of his dream of an equal America, and although his dream was not completely fulfilled in his lifetime, he remained faithful to the, then idealistic, view of an equal America. When analyzing politically fueled persons throughout history, we must first establish their motives and how their views were formed in relation to the time period as author, Anthony Dawahare, stated that, “To better... [tags: Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes]
1381 words (3.9 pages)
- Introduction The Harlem Renaissance was a time when African Americans were able to inconsequently convey their abilities and views without the struggle of being ostracized. Many artists, musicians, writers, actors, and photographers exerted the opportunity presented to them in Harlem. What was once originally a white town became the African American capital of America. Furthermore, the Harlem is Renaissance is known to play a big part in the rights for blacks that have previously been plundered from them.... [tags: African American, Harlem Renaissance]
1367 words (3.9 pages)
- Paul Lawrence Dunbar born June 27, 1872 in Dayton Ohio. Dunbar mother was a laundress and his father a former slave, soldier and plasterer. As a student Dunbar was the only black in his senior class, nevertheless he was still nominated President of the class. During adulthood Dunbar eloped with Alice Ruth Moore who was a teacher. Dunbar had no children. As editor of his own newspaper “Dayton Tattler” his writing inspiration surface. Many of his family experiences of slave and plantation life influenced Dunbar later writing.... [tags: Harlem Renaissance, African American]
1054 words (3 pages)
- The cultural development of a society or group of native people maturates throughout the passing of time and factors that involve fine arts. Innovative clothing, music, artistic trends and more do not blossom overnight but cultivate their way into society through periods and passages of time. However, without notable nobles such as Langston Hughes, William Johnson, Fats Waller, James Weldon Johnson, Bessie Smith, and more the historical message and innovations of the Harlem Renaissance may not have etched its way into the African American philosophy.... [tags: Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes]
856 words (2.4 pages)
- History Of The Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance was a time where culture, social interaction, intelligence and creativity kicked off with a huge bang because of African American authors, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars says the History Channel. The Harlem Renaissance began in the year 1917 and extended to the mid-1930s but, in this time frame there were famous writers such as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, and many others who made this time an unforgettable moment in history says the Poetry Foundation.... [tags: Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes]
1058 words (3 pages)
- Journey to the Harlem Renaissance As America moves into a more cultural and diversified era, more people are taking the time to learn about the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was the foremost form of freedom for African Americans. It showed blacks that they were becoming equals in American society. The talents of African Americans soared in art, music, literature and especially poetry. The main writers embodying the Harlem Renaissance were Claude McKay, Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen.... [tags: Harlem Renaissance African Americans Essays]
1272 words (3.6 pages)
- The months and even the years prior to the Harlem Renaissance was very bleak and the futures of life in America for African-Americans didn’t bode seem to bode very. Well progression towards and reaching the era known as the Harlem Renaissance changed the whole perception of the future of the African-American people as well as life for the group as we know it today. It can be best described by George Hutchinson as ”a blossoming (c. 1918–37) of African American culture, particularly in the creative arts, and the most influential movement in African American literary history [that took place specifically in Harlem].... [tags: Harlem Renaissance, African American]
1255 words (3.6 pages)