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The Literature Of The Harlem Renaissance

1946 words - 8 pages

Between 1910 and 1920, thousands of African-American moved to the north from the south. The slavery issues and discrimination towards black peoples were very intense in the south at that time. On account of that, they moved to the North and most of them moved to Harlem, a section of New York City. This great migration was the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance or also known as the Negro Renaissance or the New Negro Movement was literary and artistic movement by the African-American (Singh). The Harlem Renaissance was the first formal literary movement that focused solely on the work of black writers (Constantakis). The literature of this period was a self-conscious exploration of racism and identity, particularly what it meant to be black and an American. This movement was led by well-educated class blacks. Those well-educated blacks are called the New Negro. The new Negro was American who contributed to his social and cultural community, and this was happen in Harlem. Most of them express their feeling as an African-American through poetry. They were proudly written about African-American culture. Some of them were writing about the discrimination they got as a black people. At that time, the African-American were struggling to get equal treatment. As an American, they had a dream that someday the black people can get their rights as same as the white. There were several people wrote poems about black people and helped define the Harlem Renaissance, such as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Helene Johnson, Claude McKay, Jessy Redmon Fauset, Jean Toomer, and Angelina Weld Grimke. Those people trying to tell the world how proud and grateful they were as African-American through poetry. Further, they want to tell America that they also part of the nation and deserve equal treatment. As American, they hope that in the future all black people will share equally with white people. The Harlem Renaissance was a fundamental movement for black literary culture especially in poetry, in which, the African-American can express their feeling and their dreams as American citizen, and criticize the unfairness they get because of skin color.
One of the most famous Harlem Renaissance poets was Langston Hughes. He was African-American and he lived in Harlem during Harlem Renaissance. His writing helped to illuminate the lives of ordinary black citizens and corrected distorted image of African Americans as stereotypical figures in literature and entertainment. He was writing several poems about discrimination towards black people. Hughes draws on the ideas behind the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, and the Bill of Rights in order to criticize racial injustice in both domestic and international arenas (Westover). In Langston Hughes’ poem “Negro,” he states how proud he is as African-American. He clearly states black’s common problems such as slavery and being a victim of injustice law. However, he put those problems in...

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