Harlem Renaissance Poets: Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Countee Cullen

Harlem Renaissance Poets: Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Countee Cullen

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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. The Harlem Renaissance was a period marked by great change and forever altered the conscious of the entire country.

When one thinks of a renaissance, they think of Europe during the fourteenth century. A renaissance is defined as “period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity”, many people are unaware that a renaissance happen in America. The Harlem Renaissance occurred during the 1920's and 1930's in Manhattan, New York. After the civil war ended, many African-Americans migrated from the South to the North to seek better financial and educational opportunities. A large amount of African-Americans moved to Harlem. Mass amounts of African-Americans moving to a suburbs, allowed them to get jobs and educate their children. Generations later, a 'renaissance' was the end result. The African-American population were being treated as second class citizens, resulting in discrimination. At the time, Civil Rights was not even heard of. People just dealt with the injustices. The 1920's was a period of hatred and disgust the general public had on the African-American community. Color...


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...veals that the eight year old was not a resident in Baltimore just simply a visitor who stayed there from May to December. The eight year old boy seems to have grown up and is reflecting on his visit to Baltimore. In the last two lines of the poem, the speaker says “Of all the things that happened there That's all that I remember” The speaker was scared from the incident that happen. Although many years have probably passed by, the boy could never forget his first “hate crime”. That was the beginning of a young innocent boy being thrown into a world of hatred. Cullen seems to be frustrated at the fact that children must deal with such incidents. Countee Cullen wants the adults to solve the problem so the children do not have to suffer the consequences.
All three Harlem Renaissance poets used frustration as a theme to help wake up the African-American community.

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