Langston Hughes: The Limitations Of The American Dream

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African American poet, Langston Hughes (1902-1967), born in Joplin, Missouri, was a passionate writer and thinker that used jazz and black folk rhythms of the Harlem Renaissance that helped shape American literature and politics. The Harlem Renaissance that traversed from the 1920s to 1930s, was a name given to the cultural, social, artistic, literary and intellectual movement sought to celebrate black life and culture, as well as “reconceptualise ‘the negro’ apart from the white stereotype.” Skilfully conveyed through the utilization of numerous poetic devices, mainly through the device of imagery, Hughes died of prostate cancer at 65 in 1967 but his legacy lives to today from his work of celebrating the lives of black people and the words that spoke out against their struggles. The power of poems such as Harlem (dream deferred), mother to son and Let America be America again keep relevance and interest to audience of the current age as they inspire and teach the story through the themes of struggle of the African American race that is still a resistance in this generation through movements such as black lives matter and the continuous themes of many African American singers/rappers but with the legacy…show more content…
Harlem (dream deferred) published in 1951 is a jazz style poem describing a neighbourhood (Harlem) and the African-American society in it. The powerful poem became respected as a most common poem taught in American schools. A deferred dream remains a delayed dream. A dream deferred however, smartly switched by Hughes, allows a more questionable approach to the question and title. Written in the time of the Renaissance, the poem portrays the stereotype of a black man. “Or does it explode?” incorporates the meaning of years of suffering. ‘Drying up like a raisin in the sun or stinking like rotten meat’ refers to the discrimination against his people and exploding is the question of if his people will
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