Langston Hughes is known as one of the most influential African American poets, and he has a large collection of works that still influence African American society today. One of his most famous works is “Negro,” which is a poem that highlights African American identity through the personification of African American heritage. The narrator is the personified figure that connects African Americans by explaining historical allusions that contributed to African American heritage and culture. This personified narrator serves to enhance and clarify the theme of unified heritage among African Americans text as a whole by connecting recorded experiences by Africans and African Americans of the past and present, highlighting the history of African
Black poetry in the early 20th century was widely influenced by these common blues themes. Specifically, popular black poetry from the 1920’s to the 1960’s shared these themes of sadness and tragedy, thus emitting a “blues aesthetic.” (Thompson 1) One example of this “blues aesthetic” in black poetry is within Sterling Brown’s pieces. In a piece of his titled “Ma Rainey,” he speaks of the aftermath of the Mississippi River flood that occurred during
Through his poetry, he depicted the African American experience in a country that was still very segregated and race oriented. He drew attention to the joys and struggles the African American life entailed. His work was not only incredibly influential at the time but had a huge impact on the decades that were to come. Langston Hughes’ poems and writings contributed directly to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in which thousands of protests were mounted with the goal to end legalized racial segregation and discrimination laws in the United States. His poem “Harlem” which will be analyzed below, inspired Martin Luther King, one of the most influential voices and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to give his speech “I Have a Dream."
Slavery was an important time period that is still affecting American society today. For 400 years, Africans were enslaved by Americans and were forced to do hard labor in harsh conditions. They were forced to pick cotton, harvest and plant rice and build railroads. Slavery began in America in 1619 when countries in Europe would kidnap Africans and send them to America on boats. This time period is important due to the devastating actions that happened to Africans and what they did to change the course of history.
“The only things artistic that have yet sprung from American soil and been universally acknowledged as distinctive American products.” (Revered African American poet James Weldon Johnson,1920s) From James, we can know the importance of blues in American music history, certainly, it also confirms that that music which belongs to black music is received public recognition even if society exists racial discrimination. Blues was a tool people used to express their moods at the beginning. “The blues is both a state of mind and a music which gives voice to it. Blues is the wail of the forsaken, the cry of independence, the passion of the lusty, the anger of the frustrated and the laughter of the fatalist. [The] blues is the personal emotion of the individual finding through music a vehicle for self-expression.” (Paul Olive, The Story Of The Blues, 1998) And the basic function became a vital feature.
To voice their burden of being slaves, female slaves had to struggle a lot whereas male slaves recorded their anger, frustration and feelings of powerlessness, nonetheless, their common experience of dehumanizing conditions of slavery creates a powerful communal voice. Through their narratives, the black managed to esteem and preserve their value system including, music, songs, voodoo, beliefs, spirituals, religion, ancestors, kinship-ties, herbal medicines, food habits etc. The slave narratives have been read by critics as rerecording of history of slavery, as of humanity of the blacks as they also carried with them from ‘South’ by forging their cultural principles into new forms of expression that would sustain the conditions they met in ‘North’. Through these forms they were able to respond to social, racial and economic exploitation under which they
An African-American Studies reading of the collection reveals that the brutal past of African-Americans still weighs on modern society. Jones’s imagery combines the physical environment and historical precedents to explicitly present the relationship between slavery and its aftermath, from the perspective of African-Americans. Imbricated throughout this collection are key mechanisms set to reveal how the natural world and the world of racism, in fact, coincide with one another. These in turn empower the speaker’s growth, enabling “I’s” and “Boys” ability to depart from boyhood and enter the world of man. Therefore, beginning the prelude to bruise.
In the year 1926 America was in a state of upheaval. Segregation and racism were a major issues that were disturbing significant challenges in America, especially for a young black man living in America. This inspired Hughes to write one of his most influential poems entitled I,
Langston Hughes poems “Harlem” and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” are two poems that have a deeper meaning than a reader may notice. Hughes 's poem “Harlem” incorporates the use of similes to make a reader focus on the point Hughes is trying to make. In “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Hughes shows how close he was to the rivers on a personal level. With those two main focuses highlighted throughout each poem, it creates an intriguing idea for a reader to comprehend. In these particular poems, Hughes’s use of an allusion, imagery, and symbolism in each poem paints a clear picture of what Hughes wants a reader to realize.
“Africans in America” part IV “Judgment Day” is a PBS documentary that uses quotes, journal entries and photographs along with commentary from historians to discuss slavery in America. This documentary does a good job of relaying the anger and pain that slavery brought to America. “White people want slaves, they want us for slaves, but they will rue the day they were born.” This quote from David Walker helps set the mood and the emotions festering in the black people of America. The use of different mediums within the documentary gave it real emotion and depth. The pictures and paintings used help expand the viewers feelings.