In this essay I will discuss the black experience through history and Langston Hughes's desire to portray the black experience as hopeful. Each poem allows for the realization that through the written word powerful statements resonate. Hopes and dreams can be fostered through the power of integrity and courage. .
The first poem that I read by Langston Hughes was "I, Too." This poem has a tone of courage even in the face of adversity: .
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen.
When company comes,.
But I laugh,.
And eat well,.
And grow strong. (Hughes, "I, Too" 807).
The male character knows his place within the walls of the family he works for but, he also knows that he is buying time within the walls too. If he doesn"t give up, his situation will get better: .
I"ll be at the table.
When company comes.
Nobody"ll dare .
Say to me,.
"Eat in the kitchen," (Hughes, "I, Too" 807) .
The "darker brother" (808) portrayed in the poem realizes the strength of having a positive outlook concerning the situation. Hughes wants his readers to understand the real potential of a positive attitude when dealing with the "hand that life has dealt you.".
The second poem by Hughes that caught my attention was "Mother to Son." The words of the poem are the words of a mother to her son. The words advise him to follow her example and "don"t you turn back" (Hughes, "Mother to Son" 810). Hughes uses "crystal stair" (Hughes, "Mother to Son" 809) to symbolize the white mans ease in the society to which they live. The mother's tone has a feeling of desperation. "Don"t you set down on the steps / Cause you finds it's kinder hard" (Hughes, "Mother to Son" 810). Hughes uses that tone to show the importance of not giving up, especially when those before, " [i]'se been a-climbin" on" (Hughes, Mother to Son" 810).
Thirdly, is the poem "Negro" also by Langston Hughes. This poem opened my eyes to the long suffering of the "[n]egro.