Being An African-American In The Big Sea By Langston Hughes

1077 Words 5 Pages
Throughout the book The Big Sea, Hughes talks about the hardships and struggles he had being an African-American. As a kid, Hughes moved around frequently. His mother traveled often to find better jobs that paid better than the last. As an African-American, going to school was not always easy for him. In the book The Big Sea by Langston Hughes, he writes, “At First, they did not want to admit me to the school because there were no other colored families living in that neighborhood … And after such remarks, occasionally the kids would grab stones and tin cans out of the alley and chase me home.” (Page 14). Hughes also gave other examples of racial discrimination that African-Americans faced after the first world war. He talked about how a lot …show more content…
In Africa, there is a lot of white missionaries at this time trying to help the “savage like beasts” in Africa to try to become christians and “civilized people”. Hughes explains that in Africa, you are not black unless you are fully black. In the United States, if you are partly black, like Hughes, you are black no matter how dark your skin is and discriminated against. In Africa, blacks were oppressed and discriminated against just like in America. However, because Hughes was part black, he was treated as if he was a white man. “Our problems in America are very much like yours.” I told the Africans, “especially in the South. I am a Negro too.” But they only laughed at me and shook their heads and said: “You, white man! You, white man!” It was the only place in the world where I’ve ever been called a white man.” (Page …show more content…
When he first arrived there and was looking for a job, other black people he met told him he would not find a job. Not only was Paris short on jobs, but it seemed like there was very limited jobs for black people there as well. “There ain’t no ‘any kind of job’ here. There’re plenty of French people for ordinary work. ‘Less you can play jazz or tap dance, you’d just as well go back home.”” (Page 146). This is different from The United States in a way because before the Great Depression hits, The United Sates had a fair amount of jobs as well as jobs for African-Americans. Since everything is segregated, companies and businesses needed black people to serve, help, or do business with other black people. They would of course get paid significantly smaller however unlike Paris, America at least had more than jazz music to offer black

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