Essay on Beef: African Americans

Submitted By qaazqaz
Words: 541
Pages: 3

Langston Hughes is one of the best poets of the 20th century best known for his role for the “Harlem Renaissance” in the 1920's and 1930s. During a time which blacks would challenge racism in things like art, music, and literature. And Langston Hughes poems would reflect that and in the poem “Negro” it was no different. The poem discusses on the history and treatment of African Americans from the past throughout slavery. The speaker of the poem is a combination of African Americans throughout slavery and the tone of the voice is a proud but yet saddened voice. Like when he say “I am a Negro Black as the night is black, Black like the depths of my Africa.” (p.429) it has a more proud and prideful tone. But when he starts to discuss the life of a slave it has sadder and more down tone. Hughes goes on to describes himself and his race as slaves, workers, singers and victims who were discriminated in different ways from different people in different times of history. Hughes uses great allusions in the poem to show the involvement of African Americans had on history throughout slavery. Like when he say “Caesar told me to keep his door-steps clean.” and “I brushed the boots of Washington.” (p.429) he’s referring to a Roman general Julius Caesar and the first President of the United States George Washington. In the next stanza Hughes explains what the African Americans were able to accomplish involving hard labor. We were able to build pyramids in ancient Egypt when he says “Under my hand the pyramids arose” (p.429). And that we were able to build one of the tallest buildings and the tallest in the 1910s in New York City when he says “I made mortar for the Woolworth Building” (p.429). When he say “All the way from Africa to Georgia I carried my sorrow songs. I made ragtime.” (p.429) in the next stanza he begins to discuss the musical influences the African Americans had in history with the creation of jazz music/ragtime while carrying with a lot of pain and sorrow with their disbandment from their natural heritage. Then he goes on to show…