29th January 2015
Langston Hughes: the Beauty of a Man
During the time of the Harlem Renaissance, the majority of people were white. This created difficulties for black Harlem writers due to the fact a mass amont of their audience were not African American. Like Langston Hughes, other poets wrote to express their feelings towards American racism. In Hughes essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” he stressed the complicated experience black devoted artist would face if they decided to produce a
“racial art”. He encouraged them to do it anyway. Langston Hughes work made many other
African American artist come to light because of his fight for the worth of his culture.
Langston Hughes faced many problems with the white man, as you can see in his writings. Not just him, but the negro culture as a whole. He knew he wasn’t worth any more or any less than a white man because “[he], too, [is] America”(“I, Too”18). Hughes refused to stand as another black sterotype. America is supposed to be a nation of liberty and freedom, but there are “words like Liberty that almost make [him] cry”(“Refuge in America”56). It is clear to
Hughes that freedom and liberty does not exist in America because of the way him and his people are treated. He continued to write to get whites to understand that everybody is equal.
After the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, sixteen blacks had been elected and served in
Congress. After the white got a sense of African Americans on the rise, they began bombing and terrorizing their homes. A small number of African Americans were able to acquire land shortly
after the Civil War, but most were enslaved. Living in the South became extremely difficult, so they began to migrate to the North in great numbers. In that time, it was complicated for African
Americans to get on their feet. The whites took their “spirituals and gone...”(“Note on
Commercial Theatre”8), meaning that they took their rights and everything that went along with it and kept them. They were basically taking over everything including their integrity. Towards the end of the movement, the African Americans began to gain a voice. They realized their worth and realized that they were more than what the white man characterized them by. “The younger negro aritist who create now intend to express our individual darkskinned selves without fear or shame”(“The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”40), stating that though the older African
American’s expressed themselves through rebelling, the younger generation expressed themself through literature.
Most of the African American literary movement came from those who lived through the reconstruction after the Civil War. Literature was a way to relieve their feelings and emotions after living through the Great Migration out of the South into the Negro neighborhoods of the
North and Midwest. Mant writings included devastating experiences the African Americans faced while being enslaved. “It was too much, nearly broke [them] down”(“Madam and Her
Madam”1112). The whites would invest money into slaves, so they could do all the dirty work.
The better work a slave could do, the more money they would cost. Even after all the torture and horrible treatment,