Racein America


In the poem Theme for English B, Langston Hughes highlightsthe discrimination experienced by African Americans. For example, asthe only black student in his class, Hughes was initially barred fromliving in the dormitories (Baym &amp Levine, 2013). Although helater got a room, the university made the offer reluctantly (Baym &ampLevine, 2013). In a poem entitled I, Too, Hughes bemoans theoccurrence of racial segregation. Blacks were viewed as less thanhuman courtesy of their skin color. In this regard, they wereclassified as slaves (Baym &amp Levine, 2013). As an inferior andlowly group, they were deemed unworthy of sharing a table withwhites. Blacks were also excluded from enjoying the benefits ofgovernment facilities (Baym &amp Levine, 2013). In the story TheMan Who Was Almost A Man, Richard Wright discusses the plight ofa black boy, Dave Saunders, working on the plantation of a whitefarmer (Baym &amp Levine, 2013). African Americans were oppressedand discriminated against by white land-owners. Blacks also sufferedthe indignity of being considered as white man’s property. Undersuch circumstances, Dave felt that owning a gun would make him equalto the plantation owner, Mr. Jim Hawkins (Baym &amp Levine, 2013).

Hughes portrayed an optimistic tone in his works. For example, hesupposes that blacks would no longer have to eat in separate roomsfrom whites (Baym &amp Levine, 2013). His optimism was supported bythe increasing population of blacks (Baym &amp Levine, 2013). On theother hand, Wright manifested a defiant tone in his story. SinceAfrican Americans were forcibly stripped of human dignity, they hadto fight for their rights (Baym &amp Levine, 2013). Also, blacks hadto rebel rather than submit to the white man’s control. In moderntimes, the racial tensions between blacks and whites can still benoted. Such tensions primarily occur from perceived instances ofpolice brutality towards African Americans (Swaine, Laughland,Lartey, &amp McCarthy, 2015). Nevertheless, there are somedifferences in that African Americans can now access education andbenefit from government facilities.


Baym, N. &amp Levine, R. S. (2013). The Norton anthology ofAmerican literature (Shorter 8th ed.). New York, NY:W.W. Norton &amp Co.

Swaine, J., Laughland, O., Lartey, J., &amp McCarthy, C. (2015, Dec.31). Young black men killed by US police at highest rate in year of1,134 deaths. The Guardian. Retrieved fromhttps://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/31/the-counted-police-killings-2015-young-black-men