McKay 's and Hughes 's writing served as a socially motivated voice for justice. Though these poets told their poems through a first-person narrative, they spoke about issues facing black people as a whole. McKay and Hughes paved the way for the discussion of immoral and inhumane ongoing treatment of black Americans in the early 1900s. Both dedicated to themes centered on black Americans and urban life, their works were seemingly political because of the topic of racial issues which were accompanied by very hopeful and activist
When one examines Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, immediately one notices the duality of being black in society. Ellison uses the narrator to highlight his invisibility in society, although African-Americans have brought forth so many advances. This statement best represents the novel as the narrator examines his location (geography), his social identity, historical legacies of America, and the ontological starting point for African-Americans. The “odyssey” that the narrators partakes in reflects the same journey that many African-Americans have been drug through for generations. This statement takes on a literal and abstract meaning of odyssey.
During the late nineteenth century, the Reconstruction of the South left many to question his/her individual place in society. After being freed from the bonds of slavery, African Americans struggled to understand their role as citizens of the United States. In the chaos of this time period, new leaders rose up. Two such influential people were Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois.
It was time for a cultural celebration. African Americans had endured centuries of slavery and the struggle for abolition. (www.ushistory.org,2016) The Great Migration eventually moved thousands of African Americans to the rural South to the urban North. Many discovered they had shared many things in common in their past histories. Jim Crow had many African Americans think there life would be better up north.
Through an extensive reference to recent social history and cultural studies pieces of literature, Eric Lott seeks to examine the role played by the blackface minstrel show during the prevalent political struggles that essentially saw the start of the civil war. In this account, Lott paints an image of the blackface minstrel as a show that primarily appropriated black dialect music and dance. In a similar regard, the show is perceived as one that, at some point applauded the black culture but unfortunately, and in an ironic manner, the show contributed to what was famously known as “blackening of America.” Additionally, through the content of his literary work, and reference to the blackface minstrel, Lott gives a novel interpretation of the very first and popularly renowned form of the 19th-century entertainment (Lott).
Douglass begins his letter with his intent, an elaborate and formal appeal to Douglass’ real audience: readers of the North Star to bring forth the atrocities caused not only by Auld but by slavery as a whole. Throughout the letter, Douglass refers to his treatment by Auld; further driving his point that slavery is terrible and that slaves deserve the same basic rights as those who own slaves. Douglass is quick to speak about his own experience as an escaped slave and his success outside of Auld’s ownership to help solidify that point further. Douglass occasionally does this specifically to belittle and call forward Auld’s actions, even referring to himself as more intelligent (Douglass 102). Throughout the letter, Douglass’ common theme is one of anti-slavery and often directly attacks Auld’s actions.
Correspondingly, the novel reminds the causes of the war and the circumstance in the Southern part at that time when the racial discrimination was actively happened. Especially the idea of social injustice is distinctly reflected in the behaviours of biased people living in Maycomb society where black people are considered as an inferior presence. In ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, Harper Lee illustrates the theme of justice through various literary techniques by narrating the events of adult’s world in child’s fair perspective, symbolizing each character to demonstrate the consequences which the society influences a child, and reinforcing the theme of social hierarchy due to racism. Firstly,
Racism has played a tremendous part in the history of the United States and is still a common problem in today’s society. Even though many races have endured racial discrimination, African Americans have experienced by far the worst forms of discrimination and hatred towards them. In the early 1920s, a wave of violent racial conflicts against African Americans began to emerge and was known as one of the most socially violent times of American history. During this time period, African Americans had to withstand Jim Crow laws, race riots, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. (Lecture Notes) Twenty years prior to the existence of Jim Crow laws, African American men were granted “full citizenship and equality” under the fourteenth amendment.
This was an idea which was unthinkable just a couple months before, and now African Americans were in the government, deciding what bills to make, or pass. They represented the interests of all African Americans, and they started to make decisions based on ones which would make their lives better, because they still faced many hard ships even though they were now equal to whites. African Americans greatly shaped the outcome and consequences of the Civil War. They were the cause of it, they played a key role in the battles, and they effected the political make up regarding African Americans, of not only the South, but the whole country. If the African Americans had not played a role in the war, the north may have still won because of their size, but the odds are that there would still be slavery and or segregation in the United States
In conclusion, both Malcolm X and Tommie Smith dealt with issues such as racism, poverty, and segregation in their struggles against social injustice and human suffering. Both novels give detailed accounts about the ethics of people in their respective time periods but whereas Malcolm X talked more about the perceptions of society and what they saw as true, Tommie Smith focused more on how his struggle affected him. However, despite these slightly contrasting ways in which the authors show their struggles, together they are extremely effective and thought provoking. By providing examples of their personal hardships that appeal to ethics, logic, and emotion, the authors brilliantly showcase the social problems of the past which still correlate to the
My next and final topic that I chose is The Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was rooted in the struggle for black civil rights. During and about right after WWI, in a phase of the Great Migration, some half a million African Americans moved from the rural South to the cities of the North. Most people moved in hopes of escaping the poverty and the oppression of Jim Crow Laws. They encountered racist hostility nearly as bitter as they experienced in the South.
African Americans suffered through many issues involving continual racism and segregation. To fight back against the racial immorality and crimes of lynching, lack of decent healthcare health care, education and housing and deprival of the political process, African-American women reformist, Ida B Wells proceeded to fight for equal rights for African Americans in the United States. Wells had an overarching effect on the progressive era as a whole by writing articles bringing lynching to light, protecting the rights of