The Essay of Harlem relates to Black America people with artistic movement and intellectuals that emerged during the early 1920s. Throughout this campaign, many Black Americans were forced to migrate to the northern region such as Harlem which was their major destination among others cities as this was the most comfortable place for them to exercise their social-cultural activities such as poetry and music. All these activities emerged during the Renaissance duration of 1919-1940.
It was through the introduction of such cultural events that made the people express their interests equally regardless of race. At this point, the young people gained creativity, confidence and freedom of expression to fully compose inspirational music, visionary choreographers, and poem which with time emerged to be the primary roots of poetry in the region. Some of the authors that wrote winning poems were Langston Hughes The Negro Speaks of Rivers and Claude McKay with her poem entitled If We Must Die.' The songs were very influential and educative to the people within the community as it created unity pride of being a black man and equality (Wintz, 2015).
In Claude poet, If We Must Die(1919) was an inspirational poem that talked about the author's impression and life experiences as a black who lived and studied in the United States expressing his passion and love concerning the social and political leaders teachings to the people. The poem means that the speaker and his allies were under attack by the enemy but were not ready to surrender the war until they succeed, line 1 If we must die let it not be like hogs, line14 Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!. They were concerned with converting the youth to Christianity and improving their living standards (McKay, 1922).
Hughes who also spent most of his life living in Harlem a small city in the New York was well known for his creativity in poems later branding him a name Harlems poet. His poem was a reflection of the African American culture, in most cases, he inspired the youth living Harlem to feel good about themselves despite the challenges they passed through such as poverty, social inequalities and hardships in acquiring basic education.The Negro Speaks of Rivers was a collection of his poems from different American communities that majorly discussed racial injustices that were imposed on the citizens before the beginning of the civil war in 1922.
The song talked about the Euphrates being everywhere within the continent, for example, people bathing in Euphrates river, singing the Mississippi, building huts and pyramids by the Congolese. The poem he wrote showed how the whites mistreated the Black Americans, but he came along to give hope unity to the people in the Harlem community. Hughes further encouraged them to appreciate their diversities and continue building a foundation that made them stand upon the whites and feel free as a successful generation. An example, line 5I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young that was connected to civilization between people of his race offering real concern for social equality (Hughes,1994).
The author's role and importance in the poems were to encourage the members of the Harlem community to have hopes in living a better life in the future after they are freed from slavery. Life with complete freedom, less discrimination, equality and education progress for their children. They will embrace a leading life as African-American gaining popularity in their art creativity and respect from other external community members for maintaining a high talent based on their cultural practices.
Elements in each poem where double-consciousness was experienced were that both the poets advocated for equal treatment from whites to Black Americans at educational and social level. In addition, in their poems, they embraced flowered black beauty people and celebrating their mixed biological races through Jazz music and real life actors to flourish and reflect on the democratic practices which promoted cultural identity in the US as the whites started loving their music and traveling to the south to watch a live concert.
The two primary themes that were used in the two poems were one racial desire and pride to attain political and social equality irrespective of color through their creative expression of information. For example, I am a dark brother, they send me to eat in the kitchen.' The second theme portrayed was Christianity in which they both believed that having one religion among them will create unity among the society members making them practice the church doctrines and norms that acted as an inspiration piece in creating a poem through the biblical quote.
In conclusion, the Harlem Renaissance brought social and political distinction among the Black Americans and because a high mechanical movement was experienced, the art of prosperity started increasing promoting a single social justice and change among the people. For example, the Black Art Crafts that were drawn and decorated for reservation of history and identity in the colonial era that further created their work to be preserved as a cultural heritage in the upcoming generation. Both Hughes and Claude in their poets encouraged young people to live a happy life and realize their potentiality in community activities such as dancing and playing music for them to have recognition from the whites in America making them accomplish an excellent life experience during the Harlem Renaissance.
Wintz C.D.(2015). The Harlem Renaissance: What Was It, and Why Does It Matter. Retrieved from http://www.humanitiestexas.org/news/articles/harlem-renaissance-what-was-it-and-why-does-it-matter
Hughes L. (1994). The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Retrieved from http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poems-and-performance/poems/detail/44428
Mckay C(1922). "If We Must Die." Retrieved from http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/If-We-Must-Die_ENGL411_Unit-7.5.pdf
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