Freedom Train By Langston Hughes

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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The fight for freedom was many black people's dream about 40 years ago. They wanted the right to vote, and most importantly to be treated equal, just like the first amendment stated. Langston Hughes was a very inspirational writer and poet during the Renaissance period. His poem "Freedom Train" discussed the very important reasons for getting on the freedom train, and if they did jump aboard, were they really going to be free.

The question of whether or not they would really be free arose in their heads because after the Civil War, they had many rights. They were able to run for office, own land, and learn to read and write. Eventually white people didn't like the idea of blacks having so much power, and they passed laws such as the Jim Crow laws, which segregated blacks and white.

The Jim Crow laws were an attempt by the white southerners to separate races in every way of life and to achieve supremacy of blacks.

Places such as bars, restaurants, buses, and schools were marked "For Whites Only" and other for "Colored." Blacks had separate schools, transportation, and even parks, which were poorly funded.

The poem by Langston Hughes "Freedom Train" is about a person who wonders and questions the freedom train. The narrator hears and sees people talking about the freedom train, but he wonders if it is all that it's said to be. He asks himself, are there any signs "For Colored" on the freedom train, or " White Folks Only" on the freedom train.

In this poem the narrator brings up a very good point about how the whites and blacks fought during the Civil War, and how they were willing to die for their freedom. Many men did die and that was one of the only ways they could get their freedom, in heaven, where there wouldn't be any mayors telling you what and what not to do. Heaven was basically their only escape.

Little did he know he would soon get his freedom about twenty years later. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. portrayed his feelings to the public about his desire to be free and his fight for equality. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also died and then he was then granted his freedom.

We have come along way and people like Langston Hughes and his writings remind us of the struggle that many went through. And in a way we're still fighting, because there's still racism and bigotry all around the world.