Summary Of The Negro Speaks Of Rivers By Langston Hughes

Decent Essays

Langston Hughes once said “When a man starts out to build the world, he starts first with himself.” Hughes was the best and most well renowned writers of the Harlem Renaissance. He often showed deep passion in his poems for the situation that black people were in at that time. He identified the journey that African Americans were having to through to find their place among society. Langston Hughes sends some very important messages in his four poems The Negro Speaks of Rivers, I, too, Dream Variations, and Refuge in America. Firstly, in Hughes’ The Negro Speaks of Rivers, the theme is about the heritage and historical identity of African Americans. In the last line, line 10, of the poem he says “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.” Here he is saying that for centuries, black people have been here and they have souls, too, that are as deep as the rivers of the world. He is stating that white people need to respect their souls, because they know so much more than anyone could guess. Socarides states “Yet this poem declares itself to be spoken by someone whose knowledge is as ancient as the rivers of which he speaks. In other words, this is an old “Negro,” someone returned from a journey (or many journeys) around the world, someone whose soul has had time to “grow deep as the rivers” that he has known intimately.” This explains the theme of old heritage that African Americans hold in America, as well as other places around the world. Next on the list is Langston Hughes’

Get Access