Katia Gomez Gomez.1
English. 2327 EO2
June 21, 2018
During the early 20th century, African Americans fought for racial equality. During the Harlem Renaissance there was a plethora of strong black voices, one those being poets Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen – both who wanted to capture and express the beauty of black culture. These two poets were one of the most influential writers during this time of inequality. During these desperate times African Americans were facing troubles and lacked the acceptance of their skin and heritage. They both wanted to express in poetry that just because the color of their skin is dark, it doesn’t make them any less human or American – which at this time is what the blacks wanted to be considered. Hughes and Cullen although very similar, both have differences in their style of writing and a different way of expressing it.
Hughes and Cullen were very similar when it came to their poems. They each had rhythm and had strong word choices like “nigger”, which during those times was a very offensive word to African Americans. During the time of their adolescents Countee Cullen had many experiences being called names and had numerous of experience’s which he expressed in his writing like his poem “Incident”. While on the other hand Langston Hughes would just state how every African American should accept their heritage and culture because that’s what makes them unique and beautiful.
Langston Hughes focuses more on accepting oneself into the African American community. Hughes explains how once there was a black poet who stated “I want to be a poet – not a Negro poet” (328) and for that he felt truly sorry. He mentions how no black men should be afraid of being themselves, sadly during the Harlem Renaissance black people wanted to be a part of the white American community. He states that they should be able to look at themselves and say “Why should I want to be white? I am Negro – and beautiful”. In Langston’s poem “I, Too” he uses the word America, as in saying he is also American. “They send me to the kitchen… tomorrow I’ll eat at the table when company comes...They’ll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed” (836). In stating this he shows the reader how he is proud of who is and despite the segregation between whites and blacks there will come a day when everyone will be treated equally. In the poem “Freedom” he starts off the poem with “freedom will not come” unlike the other poems where he gives more of a positive tone he is more realistic and has a negative tone, and also uses rhythm. “I have as much right as the other fellow has, to stand, on my own two feet, and own the land” (842). In this he is expressing that he has the right to be “free” or in other words be “equal” to those of the white community. Langston inspired so many African...