Black Culture

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During the Harlem Renaissance, writers, especially black ones, portrayed the black culture and style in their writing. They used black assumptions, generalizations and stereotypes to show, what they thought was, the black culture. Not all of this was far from the truth. Three writers, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Sterling Brown are examples of writers that emulated black culture in their works.

Langston Hughes works, “”The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “Mother to Son,” “When Sue Wears Red, ” “The Weary Blues,” I, Too,” and “Harlem” are examples of the portrayal of black culture through writing. In “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Hughes focuses on important accomplishments and places where Negroes were heavily populated. “I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. / I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. /I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. / I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln/ went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy/ bosom turn all golden in the sunset” (Hughes 1291). In “Mother to Son,” he describes advice of a mother given to her son. She tells him how her life was no “crystal stair” and how she had to struggle to get where she is and that she is still struggling to get even further. She describes her trials and tribulations as “tacks/…and splinters/ and boards torn up/ and places with no carpet on the floor--/ bare.” (Hughes 1292). She tells her son never to give up on his dreams and to keep climbing that “crystal stair.” This is because the mother knows how hard it is to get ahead in the world when you’re black and that everything that blacks have they have worked hard to get. “When Sue Wears Red” describes the beauty of the black woman. He compares Susanna’s face o “an ancient cameo/ turned brown by the ages.” He also compares to “a queens form some time-dead Egyptian night” (Hughes 1293). “The Weary Blues” portrays the musical side of the black culture, describing a man...
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