Poem Analysis: The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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The Negro Speaks of Rivers My life personally is exactly like a never ending river with the current of the stream changing each and everyday. Every river in the whole world is flowing towards a destination and they all have a starting point as well. Let’s say that I’m that river! I was brought into this world as a newborn baby named Brandon Michael Roman and this is the start of my life, thus being the start of the river. I am now 20 years of age with thousands of different things that have occurred in my life each and everyday. Each of those things that have been apart of my life is the transformation of my river. I started from a newborn baby and now am forming myself into a man, thus creating a long river. The poem 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers' by African-American poet Langston Hughes means that rivers, with their ancient paths and slow but constant movement toward something larger, are very much like humans' progress forward. Just like those individuals during the time period of the Harlem Renaissance, I too am constantly moving towards something larger in life to make my life as fulfilling as possible. It shows the speaker’s sense of racial pride, route to advanced civilizations, and of connection to life-giving, enduring forces in nature, thus being the African-Americans historical journey. Hughes goal was to capture the dominant oral and improvisatory traditions of black culture in written form and I think this poem is a prime example of it. In his poem ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers’ things like perseverance, race, nostalgia, freedom. commitment, and cultural awareness all pop into my head after reading it. Hughes chose to focus his work on modern, urban black life and wanted to express the immense challenges that black people face in their everyday life's. This is why ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers’ was wrote by him in the year of 1921. The main theme is that people of color have rich cultures and history, and this should be respected and admired. The line,

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