Analyzing Langston Hughes

Essay by BlackFairyA-, July 2004

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The main problem about this essay was that I made the structure way too easy. Would have been better to structure in a sequence of events than poems!!

And as I'm not a native...there might be some blunders...!!

1. Introduction

Langston Hughes was one of the most popular authors during the "Harlem Renais-sance", which took place during the 1920s. He has always had a remarkable way to expose the problems of the Afro-Americans within American Society in rather spon-taneous and situational poetry . Hughes usually managed to write about these prob-lems in a sarcastic way, rather than in a simply rude or angry manner.

Within this paper the situation of the Afro-Americans in the USA during the time of the 1920s to the 1960s will be described from a basis of a few selected Langston Hughes' poems. All poems are taken from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes and are added to this paper in the sequence of appearance within this text.

Therefore there will only be line-references when a quote from a poem is mentioned.

This paper will be divided into four major parts of Langston Hughes' writing and the development of the situation of Afro-Americans in the USA.

As Langston Hughes himself makes use of the terms "Negro" and "Blacks" they will also be used in this paper, as well as "Afro-Americans" without any mean to political-incorrectness or mean intention.

2. 1920- 1940

2.1 "I too"

The first poem of the 1920s to analyse is "I too" . Within this poem all the hope

of the Afro-Americans of Hughes' time is reflected. As visible in the first lines of the poem, the Negroes in America sing the hymn and repeat the oath as any American, but they are still not respected as such. They are seen...