These indigenous people start adopting the English language since “American never had any interest in educating black people, except as this could serve white purposes” (Baldwin, second to last paragraph, first sentence.) , and just like any foreigner who learns a language, they speak it in a way that, through society’s eyes, is not correct. Hence James Baldwin’s If Black Isn’t a Language, then tell me, What Is? essay that illustrates that ignorance is not always bliss, but that “a country that makes heroes of so many criminal mediocrities, a country unable to face why so many of the nonwhite are in prison, or on the needle, or standing, future-less, in the streets” (Baldwin, Last paragraph, first sentence) if liberty is taken away from people
At some point in our lives, most of us have judged a book by its cover. In other words, we have held prejudice against each other based on our outward appearances, but rarely considered what lies beneath the surface. In Langston Hughes’ 1959 poem “Theme for English B”, a professor assigns a speaker, a young African-American male college student, a one-page composition in which the student can write about a topic of their choosing. The speaker chooses to write about how, despite being African-American in a mostly white class, he is simply human just like everyone else. The craft of “Theme for English B”, including the sound, rhythm, tone, form, and figurative language of the poem, demonstrate the writer’s message that despite our differences,
In the preface of Lawrence Levine’s Black Culture and Black Consciousness, he establishes two endeavors that his text was intended to accomplish. The first of these was to accurately analyze the history of the general African American population from the antebellum period to the 1940’s. It was Levine’s hope to “write a history of thought of a people who have been too largely neglected and too consistently misunderstood”(xxvii). It was his goal to give a perspective on the history of African Americans that was closer to the truth than those that are most often portrayed by historians.
In "Narrative: The Power of Storytelling" the author explains that a narrative is a simple story that is significant to you. In "Salvation" Langston Hughes recounts a significant time in his life. Hughes goes into great detail sharing a life event from when he was twelve, he wrote using a natural voice and used descriptive techniques from his memory to make you feel like you were in the church with him. In "Narrative: The Power of Storytelling" the author also says "you must show and not just tell", Hughes did just that in his narrative. When Hughes described the church and the members I could picture them all individually. Hughes does a great job of explaining how he felt during the church service and after the service. I felt a lot in common
In Chapter 1 and 2 of “Creating Black Americans,” author Nell Irvin Painter addresses an imperative issue in which African history and the lives of Africans are often dismissed (2) and continue to be perceived in a negative light (1). This book gives the author the chance to revive the history of Africa, being this a sacred place to provide readers with a “history of their own.” (Painter 4)
Many people believe that having a lot of money gives you a happier life, one where you have less problems, so we look up to idols who always look like they are having a great time when they go out to expensive restaurants or shops and wear their most expensive clothing. In the short story, "Why, You Reckon?", Langston Hughes shows that just because people have lots of money and can easily get stylish clothing or go out to the fanciest restaurant, it does not always mean that the person is having the time of their life. Money is just a piece of paper but in this time, it makes it clear as day that you need that flimsy paper to buy your
Life is a short four lettered word which blows in the wind and silences everyone at once when it finally ends. What keeps you holding on is your faith; faith that things will get better and they do indeed. Your faith is what keep holding on which ties into your religion; moreover, the God(s) you believe in. Furthermore, everyone has pressured events in life which changes them for the best or worst; moreover, these events change our course of life and ] affect our future. As an example, Langston Hughes, as a child, was pressured to believe something he did not simply believe because he was sought out as a outcast. A outcast for not feeling the spirit enough or seeing Jesus; his spirit not feeding on Jesus and ashamed of himself for not being
The Idea of The American Dream can be interpreted as a mixed blessing for many as they will change who they are or what they believe in just to achieve it. We see this idea in the play A Raisin in The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and Robert Nemiroff. This story shows the struggles of an African American family with dreams and hopes and not enough possibilities to achieve them. Another example of this idea is portrayed in the poem “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes. This poem shows a different side of The American Dream, the side that people often ignore because the outcome is not what they hope for. Both of these examples demonstrate a different perspective of “The American Dream”, the one we normally see and the one we choose to
The Harlem Renaissance was a period in American history, which occurred in the 1920s in Harlem, New York. The cultural movement was an opportunity for African Americans to celebrate their heritage through intellectual and artistic works. Langston Hughes, a famous poet, was a product of the Harlem Renaissance. One notable piece of literature by Hughes is “Dream Deferred”. However, the discussion of African American culture isn’t limited to the 1920s. Paul Laurence Dunbar showed the potential struggles of being African American in his poem “We Wear the Mask”, written fifty-five years prior to “Dream Deferred”. Both poems share similar tones and themes. “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes can serve as a sequel to “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar through displaying a cause and effect relationship which highlights the strength of neglect and disguises.
Throughout the course of African American Experience in Literature, various cultural, historical, and social aspects are explored. Starting in the 16th century, Africa prior to Colonization, to the Black Arts Movement and Contemporary voice, it touches the development and contributions of African American writers from several genres of literature. Thru these developments, certain themes are constantly showing up and repeating as a way to reinforce their significances. Few of the prominent ideas in the readings offer in this this course are the act of be caution and the warnings the authors try to portray. The big message is for the readers to live and learn from experiences. The authors want their audiences to use these tales and examples as life lessons and hope for them to utilize these sources in their future lives. These two ideas are presented through the use of figurative language, mainly metaphors. In addition, the similar tone of these pieces allows the author to connect more deeply with the readers. Toni Morrison’s Nobel lecture, folktales, and several poems illustrate how metaphors and tone are used to describe experience and caution the readers.
In the poem “I, Too”, the author Langston Hughes illustrates the key aspect of racial discrimination faces against the African Americans to further appeals the people to challenge white supremacy. He conveys the idea that black Americans are as important in the society.
If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? By James Baldwin explains to the reader what black English is and where black English comes from. Baldwin writes about how humans use language as a means of controlling the world around them. Baldwin explains that people may speak the same language in one area of the world, but then people who speak the same language elsewhere are no longer speaking the same language. Baldwin using French as an exampling, Baldwin compares french-speaking people from Quebec to people who live in Paris. Even though those people speak the same “language” those people would have trouble understanding each other.
In the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, several similes are used to portray the reality of dreams. Hughes employs effective metaphors, inviting us to visualize a dream and what may happen to it after it passes from conscious thought. Could a dream dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or even fester like a sore? (Hughes, 1951, p. 631). When you and I look at these similes, the meaning we derive from them may greatly differ from the intended meanings provided by the author. Dreams are wonderful, mysterious, imaginative, basically your own little world you can escape to paradise whenever you close your eyes. Dreams aren’t always perfect, every now and then you will run into the flame storm of nightmares. Which can either make you “dry up like a raisin
In the book “Black Like Me” by Howard Griffin, a journalist goes through the times of the 1950s where blacks were not treated equally. In this book Griffin turns himself black with chemicals prescribed by a doctor and lives the life of a negro. He then leaves his family, and starts his journal accounts of his negro life. In this book Griffin changes his perspective of how negroes really were, despite what he learned from others. During his journey he faced many hardships, sufferings, and inequalities. Once his journey was over and he published his book which led to many questions raised about how negroes were really treated. This is because Griffin displayed all the unfairness and treatments in his journal and publicized it to the world on what really happened in the South.
Yet, had to fight for sane stability, an urge within a race of whiteness and a desire to pour racial individuality into American standardization and to be as little negro, and as much American as possible. Initially after reading Nella Larsen's " Passing " I was very convinced that if I had the chance to present myself to the world as another race I wouldn’t because of the psychological effects. As i compare the characters in the story and Carlina, I make an assumption that, they comitted the act of passing out of greed. “As much things change, they stay the same” For years African American were victims, victims by choice and circumstances. “It’s a sin to be ashamed of what you are” Blacks had given birth to such beautiful things including jazz. It’s a beautiful thing to be proud of. You are a victim by choice, if you choose to allow society to turn you against what beauty that has been created. In "The Negro Artist and the Racial Moutain ",Langston Hughes expresses his disappointment with black artist who would paint images of a white world because they feared criticism. The Negro artist works against an undertow of sharp criticism and misunderstanding from his own group and unintentional bribes from the whites. "Oh, be respectable, write about nice people, show how good we are," say the Negroes. "Be stereotyped, don't go too far, don't shatter our illusions about you, don't amuse us too seriously. We will pay you," say the whites.(Hughes 1926) I initially thought, they felt if they followed the desires of the white world they had better chances of succeeding. The interview gave me a different insight. African Americans have worked hard to pave a better view for younger generations, only for younger generations to only want what is in the past. “There is nothing more worse than having sight and still not being able to