Harlem Renaissance Poets: Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Countee Cullen

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The Harlem Renaissance was a time where creativity flourished throughout the African American community. At the time many African Americans were treated as second class citizens. The Harlem Renaissance acted as artistic and cultural outlet for the African-American community. The Harlem Renaissance, otherwise known as “The New Negro Movement” was an unexpected outburst of creative activity among African Americans In the poems Harlem by Langston Hughes, America by Claude McKay, and Incident by Countee Cullen all use frustration and hope as reoccurring themes to help empower the African-American population and realize the injustices they face day to day. The Harlem Renaissance was a period marked by great change and forever altered the …show more content…
In Langston Hughes poem Harlem, he discuses a “dream deferred” throughout the whole poem. Hughes discuses what happens when people let go or forget about their dreams. In lines two and three, Hughes says “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?”. He is still talking about the dreams here trying to figure out what actually happened to it. A raisin starts off as a grape. Grapes are known as being juicy and colorful. When becoming a raisin, grapes are set out in the sun to dry out. When raisins dry out, they become brown and shriveled losing all their water. Although both are very nutritious for you, raisins contain no water and are not regarded as a fruit. They look dead. Grapes on the other hand are plumb and filled with water. They are colorful and are seen as alive. Langston Hughes uses a grapes, raisins, and sun symbolically. Grapes refers to peoples dreams, raisins stand for peoples “deferred dreams”, and the sun represents society. During childhood our dreams are colorful and full of life like grapes, but eventually society/reality dries them up like the sun dries up a raisin. The end product is our reality, other wise known as a raisin. During the 1920's, many young African-Americans gave up on their childhood dreams because of society old them they could not do it. Langston Hughes seems frustrated with this and does not understand…