Langston Hughes Essay

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The period of the Harlem Renaissance was a time of great change and exploration for African Americans . It was during this point in the early twentieth century that African Americans were exploring their cultural and social roots. With the rapid expansion of a cohesive black community in the area, it was only a matter of time before the finest minds in Black America converged to share their ideas and unleash their creative essences upon a country that had for so long silenced them. In the midst of this bohemian convergence, many notable figures arose who would give a new voice to African Americans. With such great notables as Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale, and James Johnson, mainstream American now had a unique window into the…show more content…
During the period, there was a progressive movement toward the assimilation of African Americans into the mainstream culture. Many critics expressed their opinion that to believe in the creation of any art with a distinctively black voice was a foolish idea. African Americans of the period did not have a distinct cultural identity and were judged solely upon the expectations of the mainstream white culture. With the occurrence of the Harlem Renaissance, black Americans were attempting to open a door into the previously unknown world of the black experience. While many artists in the past had attempted to create subject matter specifically dealing with the Negro, it failed to lack the quality of the “Negro soul”: Created purposely for the delectation of the white folk whose self-aggrandizement they also sought to sustain, these earlier works comprised mainly those Negro elements which experience had proved to be pleasurable to the white ego. They were, essentially, attempts to recreate the white man’s concept of the black man.

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