The New Negro Summary Essay

1398 Words Oct 7th, 2012 6 Pages
Precious Whitley
October 17, 2012
English II

In the beginning Locke tells us about “the tide of Negro migration”. During this time in a movement known as the Great Migration, thousand of African Americans also known as Negros left their homes in the South and moved North toward the beach line of big cities in search of employment and a new beginning. They left the South because of racial violence such as the Ku Klux Klan and economic discrimination not able to obtain work. Their migration was an expression of their changing attitudes toward themselves as Locke said best From The New Negro, and has been described as "something like a spiritual emancipation." Many African Americans moved to Harlem, a neighborhood located in
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Thus, what awaited new arrivals was not a dream; rather, it was "a dream deferred". They began to hurt themselves without even knowing it.

"Harlem", Hughes' first poem, clearly outlines the "dream deferred" theme, setting the pace for the poems to follow. The poem begins with, "What happens to a dream deferred?" The poem explains the dream, the promise of Harlem, and what blacks hoped to find there: opportunity, improved conditions for living, and the freedom from racial intolerance.

When blacks arrived in Harlem, though, their dream was deferred; instead of the opportunities they had envisioned, they were faced with congestion, mistreatment, and dearth. It is clear that at the beginning of "Harlem," the frame of mind that accompanies "a dream deferred" is a questioning one that begins a search for characterization. This mood, which Hughes develops as each poem progresses, encourages the reader to reflect upon the meaning of "a dream deferred," is preparing them for its development. As the poem continues, it lists the different possible fates of a dream that unfortunately never become reality.

Hughes unique poetical vision and insight is the main reason for Hughes' prominence. He sometimes has been considered a superior poet than Countee Cullen. Since Cullen had documented his disagreements with Hughes' poetry, many claimed that he was limited in vision. However, Cullen did agree with Hughes' poetical subject matter. Hughes believed, and

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