American Versions of Modernism Research Proposal

Pages: 3 (1234 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies

American Versions of Modernalisim

The lives of many African-Americans in the U.S. had not changed greatly consequent to the Civil War. It took several decades for black people to be accepted in society as equals to whites and only in the early 20th century have black people started to become recognized as people that should have had equal rights with any other race. When concerning literature, black people found that an imaginary wall stood between them and the community of writers.

Being black in the 1920s in the U.S. meant that one would have to struggle every day to prove that he or she was worthier than people normally expected an African-American to be. Whites often disregarded blacks and refrained from admitting any sign of talent when they saw it in a black man.

Zora Neal Hurston had been one of the few black writers that had the courage to come out during the period. On top of being black, she had also been a woman, which meant that she had even less chances of being appreciated in the literary movements.

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Similar to other black writers from the period, Zora wrote about her life as a black woman struggling to receive understanding and acceptance in a white society, where men ruled. Also, she wrote about her life as a child, growing up in a world where blacks had been ignored and even hated. The worst thing about growing up as a black person in the 1920s in the U.S. was that black children were taught that if they wanted to succeed they had to behave like white people did. Blacks were generally led into believing that white men had been more intelligent and civilized and that by acting similarly to whites they would become more likely to integrate.

In "How it Feels to Be Colored Me" Zora speaks about the incidents encountered by a black person growing up in a white society. The spirit of rebellion brought by the Harlem Renaissance is proved as Zora accepts her fate without feeling sorry that she was born black. Moreover, she is confident that she is equal to whites and that differences are not what they used to be.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on American Versions of Modernism Assignment

"Someone is always at my elbow reminding me that I am the granddaughter of slaves. It fails to register depression with me. Slavery is sixty years in the past. The operation was successful and the patient is doing fine, thank you." (Hurston)

2. The 1920s have been crucial for U.S. writers that wanted to make a name for themselves and to be appreciated in a community which favored art and history. Several American writers chose to leave the country during the period as they considered U.S. citizens to be too ignorant when concerning literature.

John Reed has been one of the first revolutionary writers in the U.S. In the 1920's period. He had been appalled by the fact that the government did not support free speech. Moreover, he considered that the authorities had been fighting against the concept. The U.S. community did not show much interest for free speech either, with free speech supporters fighting a battle which had been virtually impossible to win.

The 1920s have been filled with incidents of people coming forward and wanting to fight the system. Unfortunately, many of those that dared to take action had been forced to become quiet, and several innocent had even been killed by the military or by angry extremist mobs. Rebellions did not have much success, with several striking workingmen having been captured and left to die in the desert. Large numbers of black people had been murdered at the time because of the fact that they were perceived to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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American Versions of Modernism.  (2009, March 26).  Retrieved September 24, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-versions-modernism/602846

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"American Versions of Modernism."  Essaytown.com.  March 26, 2009.  Accessed September 24, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-versions-modernism/602846.