Langston Hughes on Racism and Black Identity Essay

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Humanities

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High-Stakes Essay #2: A Poet’s Focus

Topic: Locate a sampling of THREE or FOUR poems by two other great American Poets, Langston Hughes OR Gwendolyn Brooks. In their bodies of work themes such as dignity, racism, survival, black identity, American identity, giving voice to the marginalized, collective memory are evident. (I have attached them below) For this paper, I am asking that you choose ONE of these poets and analyze how that poet addresses ONE or TWO of these themes.

Requirements

  • Your analysis should be 5-6 pages in length, not including the works cited page.
  • Your paper should reference 3 outside sources
    • 1 source providing biographical and/or historical information as it relates to the poetry
    • 2 sources of critical commentary, wherein literary scholars analyze the work(s) of the poets.

Sources should be credible and scholarly. Two useful databases in the York College Library are Academic Search Premiere (EBSCOhost) and JSTOR. You may also search Google Scholar.3 POEMS TO USE


https://workandworkingblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/20/brotherly-love/amp/

http://org.coloradomesa.edu/~blaga/421/Freedom_Train.html

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44428/the-negro-speaks-of-rivers

2 THEMES TO USE IT BASED ON - RACISM AND BLACK IDENTITY

LINK TO USE FOR HISTORICAL INFORMATION

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/hughes/aa_hughes_subj.html

LINK TO USE FOR CRITICAL COMMENTARY

https://www.jstor.org/action/doBasicSearch?Query=langston+hughes+race

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3300277?Search=yes&resultItemClick=true&searchText=langston+hughes+african+american+identity&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dlangston%2Bhughes%2Bafrican%2Bamerican%2Bidentity&ab_segments=0%2FSYC-5770%2Ftest&refreqid=fastly-default%3A94adaac6ace6ceeaa1001369f5c194ab&seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

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Explanation & Answer

View attached explanation and answer. Let me know if you have any questions.

Surname 1
Name
Instructor
Course
Date
Langston Hughes on Racism and Black Identity
Langston Hughes was one of the greatest American novelist, poet, columnist, social
activist, and playwright who used his position to champion racial equality and influenced others
to fight for their rights (Langston Hughes Biography np). The most prevalent themes covered in
his work include dignity, racism, survival, black identity, American identity, giving voice to the
marginalized, and collective memory. However, the themes of racism and black identity are
prevalent in his work, more so in the three selected poems, namely Freedom Train, Brotherly
Love, and The Negro Speaks of Rivers, as discussed in this paper.
Freedom Train by Langston Hughes has significant accounts of racism and black identity,
which were prevalent during the early Twentieth century. The poem had a hopeful tone on the
grounds that despite all the challenges of racism, black Americans have to establish their identity
and fight for racial equality. The title Freedom Train aligned with the locomotives that brought
the Constitution after World War II alongside the Declaration of Independence. Hughes,
however, noted that the black Americans were supposed to strive for their identity so that they
could be part of the train. Hughes ironically pointed out that the celebratory freedom train could
not even assure equality to Americans as seen in the case of independence that brought freedom
(Jones 1149). The lines …No sign FOR COLORED on the Freedom Train…. And No WHITE
FOLKS ONLY on the Freedom Train ... shows that the persona was giving the black Americans
a chance to fight for their space in the "freedom train." On the other perspective, the aspect of

Surname 2
racism is evident in that the aspects such as for coloured and white folks only were used when
discriminating the blacks from particular services. It was an awakening call for th...


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