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Blog Post 10/26

The poems written by Langston Hughes were extremely powerful. Not only did they invoke emotion, but also called for action in America. After listening to the podcast, it is clear that Langston was an influential individual. In fact, MLK alluded to Hughes’ poems in his “I have a Dream” speech. Usually I do not enjoy reading poetry, but I actually found his poems to be both interesting and influential. 

In the poem “Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too?” Hughes addresses the issue of equality between white and black Americans. Despite the fact that both Black and White soldiers are fighting together, they are not considered equal off the battlefield. He emphasizes the fact that he is fighting for America like all the White soldiers, but will not receive the same treatment once they arrive home. It’s truly heartbreaking to see that the United States forced Black Americans to fight for the U.S in WWII, but would not consider fighting for their civil rights at home. 

In the poem “Theme For English B” Hughes highlights the fact that he is the only Black student in his class. Despite being Black, he enjoys the same things that the White students enjoy. I found the quote “As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me—although you’re older—and white—and somewhat more free.” to be interesting. The fact that he questions whether his professor can learn from him because he is not white is crazy. Race should have no impact on whether an individual can learn from one another.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    I agree with you. I’m not usually one to choose to read poetry, but I found these poems to be very interesting and influential as well. Not only that, but they didn’t use complicated language, and Hughes was very to the point with what he was trying to convey.

  2. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    Similarly to Olivia and yourself, I typically do not read poetry, but I think I found Hughes’ work to be an amazing read is because it transcends just the written word. While reading, you are able to empathize and feel his emotions because of his word choice and unique rhythm. A lot of his poetry feels much more like a call to action rather than just a passive poem. His poetry also feels very historically connected, which I think adds to the importance and legacy of his work.

  3. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    I also really enjoyed reading “Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too?”. Reading this, I felt a connection to the poem, even though I did not live during this time, nor am I a man who fought in battle. I too agree that its heartbreaking that these (black) men go to war and fight along side white men for their country and come back to America, where they do not have any of the same rights as these same men.

  4. Elina Bhagwat Elina Bhagwat

    I also thought it was really important and Hughes made the assertion that even though black and white soldiers fought for the same side, there was still discrimination within the unit. It’s really difficult to understand how one group that is meant to be unified towards a common goal was still segregated based on skin color.

  5. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    The works of Langston Hughes demonstrate how important art is to American culture and politics. Art is a social commentary for the time in which it was created, and the poems of Langston Hughes are no exception. You can see it in Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech as well as in the works of many artists today.

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