The Race for Equality

Essay by chriswake22College, UndergraduateA, December 2007

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In the poem, "Theme for English B", by Langston Hughes, Hughes talks about the African American struggle for equality. This is a common subject for Hughes with many of his poems being about blacks and the injustices they face. The poem starts off with an instructor giving his students a paper to write, and the instructor says to the student,And let that page come out of you-Then, it will be true (Bauknight 564).

The poem then continues as the paper that Hughes is writing. In the paper, he explains everything he feels in his heart, just as his instructor has told him to. His paper illustrates exactly what an African-American man feels, acts, and thinks about in his everyday life. This is the natural struggle that most black men face; to be seen as equals in society.

The point that Hughes tries to get across to his teacher is that he, the black man, likes and does the same things as the white man.

Hughes wonders if his paper will be graded differently because he is black. To illustrate this point, he says,I guess being colored doesn't make me not likethe same things other folks like who are other races.

So will my page be colored that I write (Bauknight 564)The biggest difference in the two has nothing to do with the color of their skin, but how the world views them. Hughes was not asking for sympathy, or for an apology, just understanding. He thinks that even that will be hard, knowing that he and his professor come from two completely different worlds. He explains that with men and black men will always impact each other's lives, but Hughes knows that the white man wants no part of the black man's life. Hughes' only meager wish is to be...