This was before James Brown's song "Say it loud-I'm Black and I'm proud." These authors inspired and took on roles of leadership in Black pride movements. Langton Hughes was considered an activist before Dr. Martin Luther King. Both authors' works portrayed African Americans throughout history. Both authors addressed racism, economic bias, social issues. Both authors addressed dealing, coping, excelling or failing. As much as these authors had in common, there are differences in their approaches. This essay will make a comparison of the portrayals of African Americans by Langston Hughes and August Wilson.
"The younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly, too. The tom-tom cries, and the
This quote represents the pride Langston Hughes portrayed in his African American characters. Langston Hughes said this in connect to his poem "Mother to Son". In this poem, Hughes portrays a mother telling her son of the hardships he faced in her life and for him not to give in to hardships. She is giving him encouragement to keep going not to allow hardship to stop him. "Without fear or shame" he said. Without fear or shame, he wrote realistic characters into his works. Characters that came from the true experiences in life, both his own and others. Such as his poem "I, too America" or as it is sometimes called "I, too". Hughes wrote this poem after being denied passage on a ship due to racial prejudice. Hughes was returning to America from Europe at the time. He wanted show the world a discriminated African American at home. In the poem, he describes himself as "the darker brother they send to eat in the kitchen" He says he "laughs . . . eats well . . . grows strong." He says that someday they will see him as beautiful and "they will be ashamed." Hughes showed African Americans as "still climbing" and hopeful of a better future [. As with many authors, Hughes drew inspiration from true experiences of others
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to create his fictional stories. This is how "Cora Unashamed" was created. It was born from a true story a lawyer told Hughes. Hughes developed it into a fictional story by changing and adding characters. In the resulting story, Cora was a housekeeper-servant with a humbled nature. She was excepting of her conditions. Cora never complained, never protested, fore this was all she knew. She did what was needed, what she had to, without shame. She remained humble through most circumstances, except one. Death. She was "not humble in the face of death"[ ] In telling this story Hughes wrote Cora's character to portray the character lives of many African Americans during the 1930's, the story's setting. Hardworking, with little