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Langston Hughes And Harlem Renaissance Essay

2094 words - 9 pages

The Harlem Renaissance brought a new and fresh beginning for many African Americans. A significant change in the culture occurred, from new visual art to jazz music, fashion, and literature. During the 1900’s, many African Americans started moving from the south to the north and this migration is known as the Great Migration. Many of them settled in a fairly small section of New York, called Harlem. Harlem became known for its creation of the blues, jazz, and gave birth to a new generation of Negro Artist, called the New Negro which was the foundation for an era called the Harlem Renaissance.
The Harlem Renaissance allowed African Americans to have a desire of cultural and social ...view middle of the document...

He was the first one to take the styles of blues and jazz and transform them into poetic verse. Most of his poetry share a common theme and he writes about the hardships, poverty, and inequality of the African-American people. His literary works of art have inspired hundreds of people and is read by many students and scholars. Langston Hughes allows readers to experience the hardships and problems the people suffered through during their time and how they are still struggling to overcome them.
One of the poems written by Langston Hughes is called “Negro.” The poem was written while he lived in Harlem during the African American development and before the birth of the Civil Rights movement. This was a time when racial pride was represented in the idea that through literary works of art like art, music, and literature, African Americans can challenge racism. This poem reflects the history of African Americans and the hardships and sufferings that they have tolerated in the past and continue to tolerate in the present. Hughes describes himself and his race as having been a slave, worker, singer and victim who have suffered discrimination in several different ways from different people and different places. Langston Hughes represents himself as he is one black man which depicts the entire African American Race throughout literature.
Langston Hughes uses many allusions in this poem by mentioning Julius Caesar, George Washington, and the Woolworth Building to show the involvement of African Americans black throughout history. Hughes, as a first person narrator tells a story of what he has been through as a “Negro,” and the life that he is proud to have had. He expresses his emotional experiences and through his own lens makes the reader think about what exactly it was like to live his life during this time. By using specific words and rhythm, this allows the reader to visualize the different situations he has been put through because of the color of his skin. Starting off the poem with the statement “I am a Negro:” (line 1) lets people know who he is and continues by saying, “Black as the night is black, /Black like the depths of my Africa” (line 2-3). He identifies Africa as being his and is proud to be as dark as night, and as black as his roots from Africa. The poem reinforces the idea of people of African descent contributing to and being a part of major achievements in building and construction admired worldwide historically.
Throughout African American tradition and culture, music and songs connects their heritage together because it is a connections between Africa and the southern of the United States when Hughes states, “From Africa to Georgia” (line 11) which led to the creation of “ragtime” as a musical form (line 13). The reference to a voyage from Africa to the state of Georgia suggests that historically Africans were enslaved and sent to the United States and sold as slaves. Many enslaved individuals worked on plantations in the...

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