Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance

2243 words 9 pages
Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance Harlem Renaissance was undoubtedly a cultural and social-political movement for the African American race. The Renaissance was many things to people, but it is best described as a cultural movement in which the high level of black artistic cultural production, demanded and received recognition. Many African American writers, musicians, poets, and leaders were able to express their creativity in many ways in response to their social condition. Until the Harlem Renaissance, poetry and literature were dominated by the white people and were all about the white culture. One writer in particular, Langston Hughes, broke through those barriers that very few African-American artists had done before this …show more content…

The trumpet player in this poem was “The Negro” who sat on the stage, playing his trumpet, and telling us his story about the past and present struggles of his life. In the first stanza where Langston mentions “Has dark moons of weariness Beneath his eyes”, tells me that he has been through many things throughout his life and by looking at him you can see the struggles he has faced. The line that follows gives you an insight to what he remembers and his violent past, “Where the smoldering memory of slave ships blazed to the crack of the whips about his thighs”. After reading the first stanza you’ve learned about the trumpet player and the life that he has lived. “The Negro” continues to play “with the trumpet at his lips, has a head of vibrant hair tamed down, Patent-leathered now, Until it gleams like jet- Were jet a crown”. In this stanza I felt that Langston showed the beauty of the trumpet player despite the struggles he has faced. With music playing an important role in Langston’s style of writing and in the trumpet player’s life, he expresses this in the third stanza: “The music, From the trumpet at his lips, Is honey, Mixed with liquid fire”. The music that the trumpet player plays is like “honey” to him, it is easy and feels good, “mixed with liquid fire” meaning it is strong and powerful at the same time. Langston goes on to explain how important the trumpet is for the trumpet player. He describes the rhythm as “ecstasy, distilled from old desire”, by using the


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