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 enhances the theme of unified heritage among African Americans in the poem “Negro” with the use of structure, historical parallels, and historical context. One of the ways the use of personification in “Negro” enhances the theme of unified heritage is by manifesting African American history and experience structurally into one person, who is also the narrator. Hughes wrote this poem in the first person, so the poem is laden with “my,”
Hughes wrote “Mother to Son” during the Harlem Renaissance when the idea of blackness and cultural identity for African Americans began to grow (Graham). During this time, African Americans started to embrace their cultural differences from white Americans. They started to create art, music, and literature that represented their history and culture. Part of this culture included the
Presenting to the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition, Booker T. Washington delivered his most famous speech, "The Atlanta Compromise Address". In this speech Washington shares his belief that his fellow African Americans and other former slaves should make the best of what they have and to strive to excel in the positions and jobs they already occupy rather than continually fighting for. He insists that the people of the white race also do not see what they have around them. He wants the whites and blacks in south to realize that they need each other and should act in ways to coexist. To convey his belief, Washington uses rhetorical strategies such as the following: the three rhetorical appeals, allegory, and repetition.
Americans like to believe that they live in a post racial, color-blind society. The truth is, racist thoughts are still extremely alive; it has just become more sophisticated and more subtle. Racist thinking in America has a long and deep-seated history, one in which nearly every great American writer is guilty of. Throughout history, in America, there has always been the idea of racism. When people think of racism, they usually think of slavery, which no longer is a problem in the United States, so people assume racism is also no longer a problem.
This shows the audience how African American children feel when living in a country made on the premise of equality, but feeling anything but equal to their Caucasian peers. He uses the audience's emotional vulnerability to make his argument stronger and more convincing. Another strategy used it appealing the audiences logical side. Baldwin uses this strategy primarily at the end of his speech to share the consequences of segregation. This can be seen in the last line of the speech when he states “America is not the world and if America is going to become a nation, she must find a way-and this child must help her to find a way-to use the tremendous potential and tremendous energy which this child represents.
Langston Hughes’ poem, “I, Too, Sing America”, and Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”, have many similarities, and also many differences. These two poems were both written by poets who were fighting for the rights of African Americans, and women during their time period. The audience and the purpose of the two poems are the same, along with their time periods. One of the things slightly different about these poems, is the topic. The topic of both poems have their similarities in a way, but they are also different.
All is good in the country and African Americans will finally be looked at as first-class citizens. Right? “The Mississippi Black Codes of 1865” demonstrates that white southerners were not on board with this “New America” and would do anything possible, legal or not, to
The 1900’s were a miserable time for African Americans, but out of these miserable times came amazing poets such as Langston Hughes whose sole purpose was change. Hughes’, through writing, encouraged others to fight for change, and out of that writing came “Democracy”. “Democracy” is a bitter-toned poem that describes how African Americans will never be equal if you simply wait for it to happen without action and fear fighting for it. You need to make it happen. He makes this clear by stating “Democracy will not come today, this year nor ever through compromise and fear,” (Hughes 1-4), in the opening of the poem.
One example of his work that shows this is the poem, Enslaved. In this piece, McKay talks about how African Americans have been oppressed throughout history and shows the sadness he has for his people, “My heart grows sick with hate, becomes as lead,/ For this my race that has no home on earth(7-8).” He also wants his people to be liberated and be able to live as equals with white people, which they've been denied the right to do. Another poem which shows how the themes of the Harlem Renaissance shaped his writing is If We Must Die. In this piece, McKay talks about how he doesn’t want black people to die in vain like that had been throughout history but rather let them die with honor and dignity because they matter just as much as the white people, or “the murderous, cowardly pack”. In the line, “ If we must die-let it not be like hogs/ Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,/ While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,/ Making their mock at our accursed lot./ If we must die-oh, let us nobly die(1-5)”, McKay tells of how he wants his people to die nobly rather than having white
This paper discusses the definition of “black” identity in U.S. history and culture with reference to two primary texts from the course: the novel Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the speech ”A more perfect union” by Barack Obama. The novel discusses the narrow perception of exquisiteness in African society, which is deeply influenced by Western, especially American, ideals and how black people are represented in today’s society and culture. The means of what it means to be black in America today lies within race and class, even though it can be argued that there was a loss of identity centuries ago, in spite of America being a melting pot of culture. Ira Berlin observes in the epilogue to “The Making of African America” that during