Inequality In Langston Hughes And The Harlem Renaissance

1377 Words 6 Pages
The Harlem Renaissance was a time when the African-American culture began to rise in popularity around the 1920s to the mid-1930s. Through artwork, literature, and music the African-American culture was creating a new identity for the African-Americans that were in the movement as well as the some that were not. The Harlem Renaissance was making a name for African-Americans and showed off great raw talent. The Renaissance helped gave the African-Americans a chance to show off their talents to the world because they did not have that chance. Alain Locke had even said that “Negro Life is seizing its first chances for group expression and self-determination,” (“Harlem Renaissance”). The renaissance kind of built up the African-Americans self-esteem …show more content…
In some of Langston Hughes’ works it seems as though inequality is seen throughout them. He wrote pieces based off of his experiences like many African-American artists did so the reader got a different point of view from Hughes and his experiences with inequality. In his poem “Democracy” it is pretty clear that inequality is being shown in line five through nine: “I have as much right./ As the other fellow has,/ To stand,/ On my own two feet/ And own the land.” (Hunter). Hughes means that no race is any more special than African-American’s and that they have just as much right as anybody else. Also in lines thirteen through fourteen Hughes says that he needs to stand up and take control of his destiny (Hunter). By the end of the poem Hughes also feels confident in African-Americans and feels that they will be able to break through to the community and people around them (“Write. Fight, And Persevere”). Another poem by Langston Hughes which shows signs of inequality is “I, Too.” The poem gives readers a feeling of how African-Americans were treated poorly in front of others. Lines two through four say: “I am the darker brother./ They send me to eat in the kitchen/ When company comes / But I laugh / And eat well,/ And grow strong.” (“Langston Hughes”). Hughes also says that he too can “Sing America,” which means he just like …show more content…
Cullen along with Hughes used inequality as a theme throughout his work because during his time period there was plenty of inequality all around him. He knew that as a writer he had the ability to persuade and influence others like him to pursue their dreams and try to reach any goal they wanted to achieve. In his poem “Hey, Black Child” it is meant to help build up the confidence of the younger African-American children who do not have as much future chances as some. In lines sixteen through twenty-one Cullen says this: “Be what you can be./ Learn what you must learn,/ Do what you can do,/ And tomorrow your nation,/ Will be what you want it to be” (Her Black Child”). Cullen wants to show young African-Americans what is important in life and what they should try and do to be successful in the future. In his poem “Incident” Cullen gives the reader the feeling of inequality through the racism that people would show towards him and other African-Americans. Lines five through eight say “Now I was eight and very small./ And he was no whit bigger,/ And so I smiled, but he poked out/ His tongue, and called me, ‘Nigger.’,” (“The Project”). In this part of the poem Cullen shows that no matter what age, racism exists (“Shmoop”). Cullen was a big name for the renaissance and was a leading figure just like Hughes was in their time during the

Related Documents