The American Dream Of Freedom And Equality For African Americans

1075 Words Aug 18th, 2016 5 Pages
Once the mighty nation of the free, America has degenerated into a void of greed, enslavement and dying dreams. Freedom in America in the early 1900’s was more of a flamboyant façade then a blissful reality. Despite the brash claims of America - the land of freedom, it was a time of discrimination and racial hatred. Marginalised African American citizens expressed their lament through poems such as America by Claude McKay written in 1921 and Let America be America again written by Langston Hughes in 1936. Both poems state that despite all the good intentions, the American dream of freedom and equality for all was merely a dream for African Americans.

McKay lived in a generation stuck between true equality and false hope. As a black man, he has been ‘free’ since birth as black slaves were liberated in 1862, but was continuously oppressed due to societal stigma and prejudiced tradition in the roaring twenty’s. His metaphorical poems which combines both negative and positive emotions towards American society, clearly implies the conflict occurring in a nation which desires freedom and equality for all, yet does nothing about it.

Through metaphors and sharp deception McKay states that although America appears to be maturing and accommodating, it is actually the very opposite: She feed’s me bread of bitterness… stealing my breath of life. The cruel imagery in the first few lines positions the reader to despise the American culture, yet in line 4, McKay claims to love this…

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