Langston Hughes: A Historical Perspective

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Langston Hughes: Historical Perspective
The two poems that I chose to write about are “The Negro Mother” and “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes. Both of these poems are about a mother speaking to her children and speaking of the hard times that she has been through in the past. If we read these poems it’s very much telling us about history and the things that black people had to endure back in the days. Many people can view it as her speaking to her children or to her son directly but I see it as her speaking to the black children of society. The Negro Mother is a poem where a mother is speaking to her children about her struggles and reminding them of her ancestors and their days as a slave “I am the one who labored as a slave, beaten and mistreated for the work that I gave” (Hughes, 2012, Line 11). At the beginning of the poem she begins to tell of the horrible things and how bad things were but then starts to tell her children a type of hope and telling them “Stand like free men supporting my trust. Believe in the right, let none push you back.” (Hughes, 2012, Line 36). In the poem Mother to Son, we have the similar theme where the mother speaks of her struggles in life. She describes her life as stairs and says that her “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” (Hughes, 2012, Line 2) Just like on the first poem she continues to encourage her son and telling him never to give up. “don’t you fall now- for I’se still goin’ honey. I’se still climbin’” (Hughes, 2012, Line 17). What I thought she meant here is don’t give up because after all that I have been through, I am still going.

Hughes, L (2012) Mother to Son and The Negro Mother; Retrieved from :
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