Celebrating Achievements and Face Advercity in Langson Hughes' Poem, Negro

Decent Essays

In the poem “Negro” by Langston Hughes the speakers goes into deep thought as he reflects on the different hats African Americans have worn throughout history. The speaker is very proud to be an African American as he celebrates the achievements African Americans have made throughout history although faced with adversity. The “Negro” was written by Langston Hughes who was born in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. He grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, but also lived in Illinois, Ohio, and Mexico. The first poem he wrote was “The Negro Speaks of Rivers" in the Crisis, which was edited by his mentor W E. B. Du Bois. That poem was written while he attended Columbia University in New York. After college he was able to travel abroad. He went to the …show more content…

The speaker addresses the younger African American generation to advise them to acknowledge what they have been through and to be proud of whom they’ve become. The speaker shows that he’s pleased throughout the poem. The speaker uses dramatic incidents to describe his story and to grain the reader’s attention. The speaker chooses to use the word “Negro” because it was used in a negative way toward African Americans. The speaker wanted to make light of the word. The speaker uses irony in the poem by taking a word that was used to be demeaning and boasting about it. The poem style is Lyric and there is consistency throughout the poem. (Kirszner and Mandell)
Merriam-Webster defines the word “Negro” as a member of a race of humankind native to Africa and classified according to physical features (as dark skin pigmentation.) The speaker would believe that the Merriam-Webster definition of the word “Negro” was inadequate. The speaker would refer to himself as “The New Negro.” The New Negro Movement was created by Walter White in the 1920’s to help encourage African Americans to celebrate their heritage and promote cultural self-expression, economic independence, and progressive politics and this is what our speaker was doing in this poem. The New Negro Movement was later to become the Harlem Renaissance. (The New Negro Movement)
In wearing the different hats of a “Negro” the speaker makes note of his different roles

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