Civil Disobedience In Theme For English B, By Langston Hughes

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Mid-century America was a place that was riddled with racial tension and social changes. Martin Luther King’s revolution was spreading like wildfire, and his examples of “civil disobedience” were inspiring groups of all races to peacefully protest segregation across the country. One example of peaceful protests appeared in writings by both black and white writers. These pieces were gaining attention across the globe, and once the fire of Civil Rights was ignited, it could not be extinguished.
Being a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes was already on the front lines of African-American literature, and with his works, he opened the eyes of his white peers to the trials and tribulations of being black in America. In his poem
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He goes into a rant of sorts in lines 25 and 26: “I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like the same things other folks like / who are other races” (Hughes 333). Why should he fall into the stereotypical character that African Americans had been portrayed as? The narrator is extremely frustrated with the fact that just because he is an African American, many whites believe that he is not allowed to enjoy traditional “white people things.” He then addresses segregation again in line 27 and 28 when he says, “So will my page be colored that I write? / Being me, it will not be white” (Hughes 333). These words show the narrator’s frustration toward segregation, everything at the time was separate but “equal,” and the narrator hints toward this common belief. Then, in line 29, he writes to his professor, “but [the page] will be a part of you, instructor” (Hughes 333). Because the instructor is white, the narrator believes that the paper will teach him the other side segregation and hopefully resonate a feeling of understanding toward his African American student. In his last stanza, Hughes’s character again approaches racism in his paper when he says, “I guess you learn from me—/although you’re older—and white—/and somewhat more free” (Hughes 334). As Hughes went through his career, he wrote of racism, riots, poverty, and discrimination (Sanders 2). Instead of being blunt himself, he …show more content…
White people probably did not have the opportunity to learn about their peers who were people of color. During the Civil Rights Movement, however, their stories were becoming more and more popular as a result of peaceful protests becoming more widespread. As tensions rose, more and more black writers were emerging, telling what was really happening to colored people in

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