LANGSTON HUGHES

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Langston Hughe’s poem “Theme for English B” shows how difficult it is to define who we are as people of different races. He is saying that trying to define this can be difficult. The speaker is in a position that he finds himself in the exact opposite place of the Dukes. By reading this poem, I experience a powerful sense of feeling of belonging and a place that is unique. The place that the persona is studying is most likely to be the Columbia University, which is up the hill of Harlem in Manhattan, New York City. HIs home is at the Harlem YMCA. The author is trying to inform us how America was in 1959 when the American society that had segregation in racial terms. I choose to study this poem because Hughes grew up in an American society whereby the black people subjects of discrimination. Through his poem, I want to understand the Harlem Renaissance as well as his creativity in spurring the Civil Rights movement.

The poem is, therefore, crucial in understanding the ethnic issues through the eyes of a young black student and how he manages to connect his individual struggles as part of the entire race of African Americans struggles. The poem acts as a voice in understanding ethnicity. For example in the last stanza, the persona says that the professor is white older and free. He also says, “I learn from you, and I want to be like you, “yet perhaps you don’t want to be part of me.” Through this, I can understand the social discrimination of black people by the white Americans.

Hughes’s poem has helped me learn not just issues of race but also issues affecting the human race. The poem has made me wonder about my identity. It makes me question how I fit in this world and who I am as a person. These are the issues that the persona of this poem is struggling with in his crazy world. I can apply Hughes ideas in advocating for equality of all human being irrespective of their race, color, religion, sexual orientation and class.

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