Racial Discrimination and Protest in the Poetry of Langston Hughes: A Critical Analysis

Arvind Kumar Sharma

Abstract


The present study makes a critical analysis of the poetry of  Langston Hughes, one of the most representative African American poets who had been the leader of the most important literary and political movement in America—Harlem Renaissance. Hughes witnessed the racial discrimination, segregation and prejudice, and as a literary crusader, sang his strong voice against injustice and suppression. He longed for freedom from the shackles of prejudice and segregation to attain equality. Throughout his poetry, Langston Hughes faithfully recorded the pathetic predicament of downtrodden African Americans in America— the richest and the most powerful country of the world—and talked about the dream of freedom of African Americans. He talked about harmony and brotherhood between whites and blacks. The closer reading of Hughes’ poetry reveals a feeling of estrangement and exploitation of the Negro community in a racially segregated nation, America. The Negroes lived in an environment where they were subjected to tortures and torments. They lived in fear and apprehension. These people were left in the lurch with no security to their lives and existence. They were clueless about the future and hesitant of what lies ahead. Negroes constantly lived in trepidation and uncertainty, pessimism and gloom, at times placing them in severe unpleasant positions in their lives. But their collective effort to attain freedom made them reach their goal; the freedom from slavery, racism and oppression. The present study will examine the pathetic plight of these humans and their realization of freedom through their constant revolts.

Keywords


discrimination; cruelty; segregation; inequality; revolt; violence

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