Claude Mckay Protest Poetry Analysis

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Protest Poetry
By Arkia Toufan
Protest Poetry Definition:
 Protest Poetry is a form of protest but in poem form. This means that the poet will talk/protest about many different topics that have been on the mind or in their society (problem). This could be on many different ideas, e.g. race, gender, equality, etc…
The Harlem Renaissance Background:
 The Harlem Renaissance was a movement that has been said to have started around 1918 and finished in the 1930s. It was greatly influenced by the civil war in which the Confederates (Southern States who had black slavery) fought against the Unions (the Northern States). The Union fought to emancipate the black Negro slaves. The Confederates fought to protect the southern society in which slavery
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Claude McKay was a Jamaican – American writer and poet who had a big impact in the Harlem Renaissance. He was the youngest child of the Thomas Francis Mackay and Ann Elizabeth Edwards who were well off farmers who had enough land to be able to vote. When Claude McKay was four years of he started attending basic schooling at a church that he went to. However when he turned seven he was sent to live with his oldest brother, Uriah Theodore, to be able to get the best education available. During his time living with his brother Claude became a passionate reader of the classical British literature, philosophy, science and theology. He started writing poetry at the small age of ten years old. When Claude had grown up (1906) he became an apprentice to Old Brenga who was a carriage and cabinet maker. During that time working for Old Brenga he met a man named Walter Jekyll, who became Claudes mentor and his overall inspiration for him and strengthened his writing skills and encouraged him to concentrate on his writing. Through Jekylls help Claude published two books of poems, Songs of Jamaica and Constab Ballads (1912). Claude McKay left to the U.S. in 1912 to go to the Tuskegee Institute. One of the big surprises that Claude encountered was the high degree of racism in the United States. Another thing that surprised him was the segregation of public facilities. This inspired him to write more and more poetry about these issues. In Tuskegee he did not like the military style working and then left to study in the Kansas State University. At this university he read a book called “The Souls of Black Folk” by William Edward Burghart Du Bois. This stimulated him into becoming involved in politics and political movements. In 1914 Claude moved to New York after deciding not to become an agronomist although he had high

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