The Harlem Renaissance was of the embracing of literary, musical, theatrical, and visual arts it was set apart for whites. Many of Hughes writings were derived from the African American culture and the struggles of their society. The infusion of jazz into his writings created a positive stain in the community. One of Hughes biggest writings was of “The Weary Blue,” which was one of the original Jazz infused poetry. Many of Hughs writings envolved societal culture issues.
Authors tend to use political and or social statements to express themselves in literature. Paul Laurence Dunbar talks about the inequality and discrimination that African Americans were facing in his poem “Douglass.”
The white people seem to brush off the ruins of the Civil War while the African Americans were left with broken promises and discrimination after the war. Many African Americans were under the impression that they would prove their worth and somehow crawl out of discrimination by fighting in the war. However, they were still under the cloud of prejudice and stereotype after risking their lives. Paul Laurence Dunbar is a poet that was often recognized for his criticism about the discrimination that the African Americans faced. One of his famous pieces, The Race Questions Discussed (1898), contained his opinions about the treatment they were receiving.
Book titles can play a significant role in understanding the overall concept of a story. For instance, the novel Black Like Me, written by John Howard Griffin, is based on the author’s real life attempt to learn about racial inequalities that occurred in the South. To do so, Griffin transforms from a respected white to a black who knew nothing about surviving in the South. Even though the title is a mere three words long, the words withhold a strong meaning. The title of Griffin's book reflects personal feelings throughout the novel, sets the mood by giving a denotative and connotative meaning of the word black, and also hints to how people are going to react to the novel.
The Jim Crow laws made many blacks southerns to express there words and feeling through other quote and songs ( Litwack 33-34). This is one of the many ways the blacks expressed how they were feeling at this time. “[...] Jim Crowed black southerners to express, in the words of Ralph Ellison, “both the agony of life and the possibility of conquering it through sleer toughness of spirit,[...]”’(Litwack 33). People used others words to make people hopeful and encourage and to make a point that they will find a way out of this time. People felt comforted with the use of words and songs to bring together
Such personification mirrors Dunbar’s use of figurative language, which relates the poems in more ways than one. Dunbar touches on human features such as cheeks and eyes in his poem but also uses a spiritual element to advance his point of view. Furthermore, “We Wear the Mask” was written in 1896; a period in American history that was post-slavery but still had widespread discrimination. The spiritual connotation within Dunbar’s poem can allude to African American churches and/or the hymns slaves sung on plantations. Nevertheless, the struggle of African Americans is a symbol of both presented
June Jordan, a poet who is famous for her positive blaze of justice, writes poetry while advocating a command for universal equity, which appeals to people from various areas of the world. Jordan’s poetry speaks of American issues as well as international issues, such as African countries that are oppressed by their neighbouring countries. One of Jordans poems, ‘A Poem About My Rights’ serves as a resentment against the world’s oppression, however it also serves as a mandate for change. This essay aims to discuss the meaning of the poem, “A Poem About My Rights” as well as to analyse the ideologies which it contains, through giving a short background of the poet, June Jordan’s, life and the underlying story of the poem, as well as discussing the text in depth. A brief overview of Jordans technique in spoken poetry will also be noted.
In the poem, he writes in protest of the way they are treated and about the culture. The first verse can be seen as explaining what the life is like. This can be especially seen in the first two lines where he says “We Shall Not always plant while other reaps/ The golden increment of bursting fruit” The beginning brings the reader right away into understand that this poem is meant to display the frustration towards the treatment of afrienca American people. The second verse explains the way that African Americans are no less equal then white people. The second line of the poem brings out that aspect as it says “White stars is no less lovely being dark.” This line means that just because a person is black does not make them less beautiful.
African- American writings have dealt with manifold themes throughout history. The American Civil War can be considered a break-through in the political as well as literary history. Many texts were born with subtle experiences of racist attitudes in America. Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye can be pinned to the African- American writings after the American Civil War movement of the 1960’s, representing a “distinctively black literature” what Morrison calls “race-specific yet race-free prose”. Morrison is among the pioneer of those contemporary black writers who have redefined African- American writings in more ways than one.
Driven by her own experiences being raised during a time period where segregation and racism were acceptable behavior amongst the masses, Angelou illustrates this problematic normalization of discrimination through the juxtaposition of a free bird to a caged bird to convey the theme of oppression and the hope of freedom brought on by such. The entire poem consists of various metaphors of racial segregation present in the society Angelou was born into. The caged bird symbolizes the oppression and suffering of people of color, whilst the free bird symbolizes the ideal society of freedom, a society lacking prejudice and discrimination. A society that, during the time in which Angelou struggled to thrive, was only available to those who were white. The caged bird 's song represents the sustaining hope of achieving this idealistic society in which all are treated with equal worth.