Langston Hughes

African Americans have various impressions that are inscribed in people’s minds; however, which impression and expression are the right answers for them that can represent accurately? The answer is the poetry that belongs to Langston Hughes, who explores and initiated African American cultural revolution in the 1900s in Harlem, New York, and who also kindles the light of generations of African American spirituals. The poetry from Hughes can shape and express numerous African Americans’ life experiences during the 1900s, such as “Our Land,” “Shadows,” “I, Too, Am America,” and “I Dream A World” are impressive poems from him. Langston Hughes’ poems depict and represent an identical portrait of what African Americans had been through from the past two hundred-year of modern history to contemporary times.

The poem “Our Land” indicates the intuitive perception of African Americans’ experiences. Hughes refers to a realistic imaginary picture to deliver what African Americans’ lives were like. Hughes figuratively expresses his anger, despair, and hope. He metaphorically analogizes the land of the place where he is living as “cold” and “wrong.” He figuratively points out that the land is not a place where African Americans can live with their aspirations and dreams. Throughout his poem “Our Land,” he unambiguously condemns the unfair social racism ideology among blacks and whites during the 1900s in American land, where the hierarchy of white men treated African Americans unequally and inequitably. He entails:

We should have a land of sun

Of gorgeous sun,
And a land of fragrant water

Where the twilight. (1-4)

Hughes emphatically depicts and perceives what the land should be where he would love to spend time living. “a land of fragrant water” reflects that delightful and spectacular African American artistic culture should be allowed for them to spend their lives on them, which are the same rights that white people have. Later, he analogizes the land that does not have a way to be joyful. He pinpoints: “Ah, we should have a land of joy / Of love and joy and wine and song / And not this land where joy is wrong.” He connotes that there is no way to have human rights in the land where African Americans live because the government’s propaganda does not allow it. His aspiration of having joy is not permitted. Hughes demonstrates that institutional racism is an intruder who invades and takes away human rights from them. On the contrary, in Harlem, New York, the real intruders are those white genteel hierarchy people who interfere with their artistic performing clubs and invade their “New Negro” creatures. Racism existed in Harlem, where African Americans endeavored to inaugurate their peaceful space. The despair still strikes them, like a predator surveillant its prey. The phenomena of the images in the past, which exactly are happening in modernity, considering nowadays, ironically, people still have these experiences that happened to African Americans past historical events in the United States, but they are repented in other ways. We could think about the Lynch Law and the segregation would never have been ended; in another formation, they are implemented in our modern society. For instance, the enforcement of police officers’ indifferent arresting and execution of African American citizens and the biases between racial groups still exist. Those historical “Lynch Law” and “Segregation” are still embedded inside people’s minds, but our government’s propaganda attempts to make them invisible.

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