An Understanding Of The White House And I, Too, Sing, America

979 words - 4 pages

During the Harlem Renaissance, both Claude McKay and Langston Hughes developed an analysis of their time period through poetry. Each writer has a different poem but allude to the same theme. The White House by Claude McKay and I, Too, Sing, America by Langston Hughes makes a relevant comparison to the racial inequality during the 1900s. Both make a point about how White America has withheld equal rights from Blacks or Black America, making it hard for them to survive. More specifically, The White House speaks about the type of oppression being experienced during racial segregation and trying to triumph over it while I, Too, Sing, America speak about what created their oppression and ...view middle of the document...

Unlike Hughes, Claude McKay has a more serious and mature tone for “The White House” where he describes how he experiences racial segregation. McKay’s focus is more about Black America’s oppression and trying to survive and live through that oppression. McKay is able to boldly express his true feelings about the things taking place during the 1900s through by providing a lot of details on the setting. Because Black America has been treated unfairly and unequally, he is fighting the oppression placed on him and his people by White America through his words. McKay writes, “To hold me to the letter of your law! Oh, I must keep my heart inviolate against the potent poison of your hate” (Line). McKay shows that as he is being treated unfairly, he will not stoop to White Americas level and treat them with disrespect but instead find alternative ways to survive and be free from that oppression. He also shows his utter discontent with the status quo of his time but believes that he will definitely overcome it.
Furthermore, both poems show different ways to discuss the issue of race during the Harlem Renaissance but connect in their discussion of how White America has created the existence of Black America’s oppression. Both writers create the understanding that White America has alienated Black America by treating them unequally and believe that the future holds something different. Langston Hughes believes that in the future they will be treated equally while Claude McKay tries to find ways to live through his oppression of that time. In The White House, McKay writes “Your door is shut against my tightened face, and I am sharp as steel with discontent; but I possess the courage and the grace to bear my anger proudly and unbent” (Line). McKay is very upset and wants to hate America but...

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