Sunday, June 2, 2019
Journey Towards Racial Reconciliation Essay -- The Harlem Renaissance,
The Harlem Renaissance poets had to overcome many obstacles to establish themselves in the world of American poetry. They faced overt racism, unpleasant criticism, and racial isolation. Out of these impediments came a multitude of great literary contributions. However, some of the best poems came from the critical self-analysis of quartette highly influential Harlem Renaissance poets. Hughes, McKay, Cullen, and Bennett individually wrestled with the issue of uncertain racial identity. Each pair had poems with identical titles Mulatto for Hughes and McKay and Heritage for Cullen and Bennett. The analysis of each pair of poems and how the respective authors handle the subject material lead reveal a distinctive pattern of racial confusion. For many of the Harlem Renaissance poets, establishing a definitive place of belonging was virtually impossible. Their poems portray individuals are conflicted as to where they belong and how they identify themselves. While the differences between the poems are telling in their own right, the similar theme of racial identity is what links all four poets together in the larger context of being negro poets.Mulatto is the strongest case for racial confusion of the two titles that will be analyzed. A mulatto is someone who is categorise as a person of mixed white and black ancestry, especially a person with one white and one black parent. It is this exact persona of person that Hughes and McKay are writing about in their identically titled works. During the 1920s, when twain of these men were writing poetry, people of mixed races were looked down upon by both blacks and whites. They were oddities and not accepted by either ancestral group. This fostered feelings of isolation in these individuals. Conflicted, the... ...Fiction. New York Atheneum, 1969. Print.Bontemps, Arna. The Harlem Renaissance Remembered Essays,. New York Dodd, Mead, 1972. Print.Emanuel, James A., and Theodore L. Gross. Dark Symphony Negro books in America ,. New York Free, 1968. Print. Gibson, Donald B. new-made Black Poets a Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, NJ Prentice-Hall, 1973. Print.Maxwell, William J., and Joseph Valente. Metrocolonial Capitals of Renaissance Modernism Dublins New Ireland and Harlems Mecca of the New Negro. (2001) n. pag. Modern American Poetry. Department of English, University of Illinois. Web.Nelson, Cary. Claude McKay. Anthology of Modern American Poetry. New York Oxford UP, 2000. 314-19. Print. Parham, Marisa. Hughes, Cullen, and the In-sites of Loss. ELH. Vol. 74. N.p. Johns Hopkins UP, 2007. 429-47. Print.