The poem “Negro” was written by Langston Hughes in 1958 where it was a time of African American development and the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. Langston Hughes, as a first person narrator tells a story of what he has been through as a Negro, and the life he is proud to have had. He expresses his emotional experiences and makes the reader think about what exactly it was like to live his life during this time. By using specific words, this allows the reader to envision the different situations he has been put through. Starting off the poem with the statement “I am a Negro:” lets people know who he is, Hughes continues by saying, “ Black as the night is black, /Black like the depths of my Africa.” He identifies Africa as being his
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Separating the start of each stanza as well as indenting after each statement gives each line an important significance in being part of the poem. The second stanza shows the fact that he, a Negro, has been a slave. There have been slaves that came before him and worked for leaders such as Cesar, in Rome, as well as Washington in early America. He refers towards them to show that behind “The Greats” there were people beneath them that were slaves. As the poem develops, different images are put into the reader’s head that see the progress of a Negro and all that they have done. After being a slave he was also a worker. “ Under my hand the pyramids arose, / I made mortar for the Woolworth Building”. Back in ancient Egypt as far as 2,000 years ago there were workers who built the pyramids, as well as workers during 20th Century America who were enslaved helped create these landmarks. These allusions once again help the reader relate to what it is a slave has been put through as well as being part of the African American culture.
The language and diction of this poem relate to the specifics of what Langston Hughes, as a Negro has been through. Being a singer, as he sates in the forth stanza “All the way from Africa to Georgia / I carried my sorrow songs. / I made ragtime.” During slavery many slaves sang songs to express how they felt as well as to communicate messages to one another. In Africa song was a way to express themselves while working or as