Racism In The Work Of Langston Hughes And Countee Cullen

Decent Essays

It’s no secret that life was more difficult for African American citizens and arguably still is due to racism, discrimination, and the underlying belief that they are a lesser race. Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen, influential writers during the Harlem Renaissance, wrote pieces that encompass the role of race in the lives of African Americans. Race is one thing that people cannot change about themselves. Countee Cullen’s piece shows a clear acknowledgment of African American traditional behavior and the frustrations that assimilation and deviation from that can bring to black conservatives. Langston Hughes wrote poetry about the toll that being African American has on people’s dreams. When people are told to continuously told to defer their chance at the American Dream, they may have to face the harsh realization that their dreams will never come. During the 1920s, African Americans were considered second-class citizens; their race seized their ability to simply dream and live life. The work of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen show that for African Americans their race defines, hinders, and builds their identities.
The Harlem Renaissance was a movement that allowed for the artistic expression of African Americans to be appreciated. Both Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen were extremely influential writers of the time who inspired the younger black generation. Although art and music were redefined by “The New Negro Movement” (Wintz 7) as well, the literature written

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