Langston Hughes Is America Essay

742 words - 3 pages

Langston Hughes is America

   " The poet's life is the focusing glass through which passes the determinants of the shape of his work: the tradition available to him, his understanding of "Kinds", the impact of special experiences (travel, love, etc.)." (Fielder 1431). Langston Hughes did not have an easy life. Being a young black male during the 1920's, Hughes was constantly being discriminated against by the color of his skin. Because of that harsh reality, most of his work was centered around the African American's fight for racial equality. One good example of this is shown in his poem "I, Too". Hughes writes about being discriminated against because he was black.


      Around the time of the twenties, there was a big boom of African American culture. Out of this came the renaissance of Harlem, a hot spot for African American poets, musicians, and dancers. White America would flock to these hot clubs that infested Harlem. They would go for the great food and the entertainment. Big clubs such as the Cotton Club on Lenex Avenue would not allow blacks to hang out. Clubs such as the Cotton Club were referred to as Jim Crow clubs, clubs that would not allow anyone but white people in. He wrote about the injustices present He wrote of the capacity of black people to endure, while even taunting the belief that blacks would overcome. (Pinckney 773).


      In the first line of "I, Too", Hughes says that he too sings America. He is saying that he too sings America. He is saying that he embraces everything America embodies, everything that established her in the first place. He sings for the freedom, the beautiful mountains, and her independence. Even though he embraces America in all her beauty, he is really saying I love this country and I should be socially acceptable in it. He wants everyone to see this, especially when he states that he is the darker brother. That second line quos the reader into why he is not accepted into society....

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