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When The Negro Was In Vogue Analysis

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Langston Hughes' "When the Negro Was in Vogue" brings light to the issue of racial inequality and cultural appropriation. These topics remain relevant in our modern society, and are present in current cultural trends. Racial inequality is a problem that has always been around it seems; white is portrayed as "good" and black (and every other color for that matter) is portrayed as "bad." The title "When the Negro Was in Vogue" makes the point that during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, it was actually "good" to be black; that was because white people liked what black people were accomplishing and creating at the time. This is something that continues to be an issue, even today. While our society has made a significant amount of progress in terms of racial inequality, there is still much more…show more content…
Colin Kaepernick, a football players for the San Francisco 49ers, recently spoke out about racial injustice, and people went mad. Why? Because he stepped out of the place they thought he belonged in. This sends the message that it is okay for a black man to entertain white people, it is okay for white people to profit from him, but how dare he speak out about the inequality he and his community faces. Additionally, Hughes brings light to the issue of cultural appropriation in the lines, "It was the period (God help us!) when Ethel Barrymore appeared in blackface in Scarlet Sister Mary! It was the period when the Negro was in vogue" (1127). Basically, it was not okay for a black person to be black; they were looked down on for this reason... their skin was a different color. But a white woman could paint her face black, "act" the role of a black person, and everything was fine. Being black was "cool," unless you were actually black. We see this cultural appropriation heavily in modern trends. For example, black women have been chastised by white people for their bodies for the longest
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