Essay - Poetry African-american Poetry Studies: the Expression of Racial Tension in...


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POETRY

AFRICAN-AMERICAN POETRY STUDIES: THE EXPRESSION OF RACIAL TENSION IN THE WORK OF HUGHS, MCCAY, CULLEN AND BROWN

OBJECTIVE

***** objective of this work is the review the ***** ***** four authors, specifically those of:

1) Langston Hughs - "Democracy";

2) Claude McKay - "If We Must Die";

3) Countee Cullen - "Uncle Jim"; and 4) Sterling Brown ***** "Bitter Fruit of the Tree" and to then discuss how each ***** these ***** expresses within their written work the subject of racism.

INTRODUCTION

***** feelings and emotions are expressed through the art of poetry ***** this is p*****icularly true of the works ***** Hughs, McKay, Cullen and Brown in their expressions of racism in the poems studies ***** this research work.

MCKAY: IF WE MUST DIE (1919)

In 1919 ***** McCay responded to mass riots in which whites assaulted black neighborhoods ***** approximately '...a dozen..' cities across America. McCay's poem "If ***** Must Die" states:

If we must die, let it not be like hogs

***** and penned in an inglorious spot,

While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we ***** die, O ***** us nobly *****..."

It is clear that McCay is urging the ***** community to fight back... or indeed ***** die for something other than for merely being a member of the bl*****ck minority race in ***** as he states:

***** men we'll face t***** murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting *****!"

HUGHS: DEMOCRACY

***** ***** poem entitled: "Democracy" the author Langston Hughs states:

***** will ***** come

Today, this year

Nor ever

Through compromise and fear." (Langston Hughs)

As the ***** continues Hughs relates that each individual has the same 'right' as one another in terms ***** independence and the rights to own *****ir own land. Hughs relates that he grows weary of ***** who abdicate t*****ir own rights and enc*****age others to do so by 'letting things "take their ***** course" or go as they may stating:

do not need my freedom when I'm dead.

A can***** live on tomorrow's bread." (Langst***** Hughs)

The poem of Hughs ends by expressing that freedom comes to be needed ***** those who ***** deprived the most of freedom.

*****: UNCLE JIM

***** the work of Cullen entitled "Uncle Jim" the entirety of underst*****ing this poem is in the first line which states:

White folks is white," says ***** Jim" (Countree *****)

***** just the first line of this poem it is expressed how all ***** blacks were not ready at the time of ***** poem for feeling or accepting th***** ***** were, just as *****e wh*****e people, Americans.

BROWN: "BITTER FRUIT OF THE TREE"

Many of Sterling *****s first ***** have been c*****ed "...***** narratives...' to be followed by "Bitter Fruit ***** the *****" which ***** been termed ***** be a "...spiteful vendetta..." in which he speaks of the suffer*****g of his family, specifically his grandmother and grandfather and his father. Brown speaks of

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