Bell Hooks And Langston Hughes Essay

859 words - 4 pages

The general consensus on postmodernism is that it’s indefinable, Bell hooks offers a solution in her essay Postmodern Blackness. She grounds the philosophical issues of postmodernism within the political framework of race and gender. She poses the question, why haven’t African Americans discussed “postmodern theory”. She describes post modernity as the celebration of differences and otherness, with that said she challenges postmodernism with the inclusion of African American identity. In many ways her essay covers some ground that, Langston Hughes, of the Harlem Renaissance did in his story The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain. In which he discusses the significance of skin color and how ...view middle of the document...

2509). With Hughes he hits the ground running with the issue of racism. Opening his essay with him meeting “one of the most promising of the young Negro Poets” and he said to him once, “I want to be a poet—not a Negro poet,” in which he interpreted as the young poet wanting to “write like a white poet”. Which in turn had a deeper meaning towards Hughes, the young poet “would like to be a white poet”. The opening of these essays delves into the inferiority complex of the African American, the conflict of accepting their heritage or conforming to society. Hooks presents the man arguing with her as a thread to pull to her side of the argument, which is that the postmodern movement is independent of the African American and the minds involve in the movement are usually white intellectuals. She further adds to the argument by also arguing that part of the problem is that African Americans are ignorant in not wanting to pursue postmodernism, hence the confrontation story. Hooks essentially wants to define the black experience within postmodernism, though she does not agree with all the aspects of postmodern thinking.
Subsequently, like, Hook, Hughes sets up the scenario of the “negro” poet as a device to prove his point. He goes in depth with the idea of African Americans design to doubt in their abilities, resulting in them feeling not good enough; the wanting to integrate with “Nord” America. Hughes then goes further analyzing the young poet, bringing up his upbringing. He classifies the family as part of the “Negro middle class” with a successful father and...

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