In his writing piece, “That Word Black” (1958), Langston Hughes accentuates the issue over the negative connotation of the term ‘black’, and how its usage associates black individuals with immoral concepts, implying that they are terrible people. By providing imagery, a series of examples of black’s adverse use, and juxtaposition between that of the white’s, the writer heightens pathos. Langston Hughes’ purposes is to reveal the abysmal correlation of the word ‘black’ in order to demonstrate the underlying racism and disparity between black and white people. Because the author uses AAVE to show the ethos and sincerness that he is a black person, and discusses an educational, racial topic, he appeals to the white people who hold a cultural stereotypes
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)
42 The Psychology of Language For some time now it has been said that one of the things that separates our species from others, is our ability to communicate through verbal and written language. Although I agree with this, I also know that language can be harmful. It has caused wars, death and more than a few hurt feelings. Vocabulary has both connotations (the associated meaning of a word) and denotations (the actual meanings of a word), both of which can be harmful.
Frederick Douglass addressed the graduates at Western Reserve College on July 12, 1824. Douglass speech used a formal tone with advance word choices to target his educated audience. In his speech “The Claims of the Negro Ethnology Considered”, he makes two main claims challenging the claims of white men. One, black people are humans and should be treated as humans. Douglass explains that black people possess all the qualities that qualify someone as human. He continued to explain that white and black people, in America, come from different backgrounds, they both share the same origins. Therefore, America denying black people rights granted to all humans is immoral. His second claim is that white people separate black people from humanity in
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 excerpt I chose to reflect on is called “An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman!” by Claudia Jones (1949). Jones express the concerns that women of color in her time suffer from the neglect and degradation they receive throughout their lives. During this time, the reason many African American women go through the struggles in their community originated from the notion that the “bourgeoisie is fearful of the militancy of the Negro woman” (108). In my opinion, they have every right to be afraid of African American women. As Jones stated nicely "once Negro women undertake action, the militancy of the whole Negro people, and thus of the anti-imperialist coalition, is greatly enhanced" (108). All Jones was trying to say is that if women were given the opportunity take action to change their current situation there will be no stopping them from
The article “From outside, in,” by Barbara Mellix reveals the difficulties among the black ethnicity to differentiate between two diverse but similar languages. One is “black English”, which is comfortable to her while speaking with her family and community and the other is “standard English”, generally used while talking in public with strangers and work. Since childhood Mellix was taught when and where to use either black English or standard English. To illustrate, seeing her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh, where there was wide range use of both languages, she learned to manage both languages with ease.
Tabula rasa means “blank slate” and in reference to African-American history it is the belief that slaves in the Americas had no history, religion, or culture. Westerners were conditioned to assume that Africans came to the America’s with the purposed to be cleansed, molded, and shaped, into civilized beings. Docility was believed to be a common trait amongst slaves, it was the belief that since slaves were blank slates, they were easily manageable and teachable, that they were obedient and eager to please. Whereas it was believed that all ties were severed from African when a slave crossed the middle passage, African-American culture and traditions make that a difficult argument to justify. Through African-American music, such as slave spirituals and gospel, slave spirituality, and slave folk tales, the idea of slaves being blank slates and the idea that slaves were docile are challenged.
In the beginning of the 1800s, most African Americans in the South were trapped in the boom of the cotton industry under slavery. Early on, slavery was considered a “necessary evil”, but in 1831 John C. Calhoun coined slavery as the popularized “positive good”. African Americans were confined in bondage and barely had a chance at freedom. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 essentially prohibited the escape of slaves, while the decision made in Dred Scott v. Sandford practically legalized slavery everywhere in the United States. All slaves were finally freed when the 13th Amendment was passed and ratified after the Civil War. Throughout Reconstruction, the African Americans progressed to gain citizenship and suffrage. African Americans faced prejudice
African American families during that time are often being torned apart with the women of the household widowed because the husbands were murdered. An example of such cases is Joe Johnson’s wife, where “white men saw him and shot him and he died and leaves [the wife], a poor widow with a housefull of children, and no one
In this article “African Dimensions Of The Stono Rebellion”, John Thornton a professor of history and African American studies, who wrote about the African slaves in the Americas, and specifically the servants in South Carolina during the early eighteenth century. In his writing, the author describes the personality of Africans and their desire to escape from slavery, going through obstacles on their path to freedom.
Within the context of African American literature, there is a common portrayal of a self-conscious narrator who takes on a quest for his or her own self-definition. This portrayal is frequently led by the so-called mulatto, a character of mixed background who is passing and has this ability to be able to cross over the coloured line to the white side. However, this white passing comes with a heavy internal conflict and this struggle for self-identity is captured in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. James Weldon Johnson epitomizes the struggles that a mixed-race protagonist would experience as he crosses the social boundary from the coloured side to the white side. Through this portrayal of a mixed race coloured man, Johnson is able to portray two well established literary troupes within African American literature: the tragic mulatto and the ex-slave narrative.
The end of the Civil War was one of the greatest turning points in the United States history that changed the way the nation ran politically, socially and economically. The Union defeating the Southern Confederacy put forth an interracial democracy, united all states into a single nation and most importantly - abolished slavery. This gave birth to Reconstruction, a period that followed the Civil War focusing on the integration of African Americans into a society that was previously dominated by white people. Reconstructionopened a pathway to educational and economical opportunities, citizenship and freedom, and the establishment of beneficial laws and amendments for equal rights. However, the unsettling years that followed turned out to be