An Analysis Of Countee Cullen's Poems Of The Harlem Renaissance

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The Poems of Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance was a very significant period in the African American literature and it ushered some specific changes in not only the African American literature but the American literature too. The Harlem Renaissance as a movement brought very noteworthy changes in the cultural circle of African Americans and as well on the other hand brought about some very important changes in the socio-political conditions of African Americans who were sustaining their lives in the white-dominated American society. This particular period instigated myriads of learned men and women from the African American community to raise their voices against the racial discrimination but in a non-violent manner and through the…show more content…
Cullen always believed that the primary way through which the African Americans could achieve their ultimate liberty from the white domination was to indulge in the glorification of their black legacy. Cullen believed that it was by re-establishing the supremacy of the African culture, both literary and social, that the African Americans would be able to counter the suppressions rendered by the white Americans. Moreover, it gradually became clear from his works that Cullen himself was suffering from the dilemma of being entrapped in the middle of a dilemma, a dilemma of being African by birth and American by citizenship. Cullen was ambiguous of his own role because he was never able to give up his African heritage and he was not sure how to embrace the American culture because the white Americans always treated the African Americans to be outcast. So, to reveal before African American populace and to the members of the American mainstream society the agony of this double-consciousness that Cullen composed his poem Heritage. It is noteworthy that “The theme of double-consciousness plays the role of “the central contradiction in Cullen’s appraisal of his own racial identity” (Lomax, n.d.). Moreover, as stated earlier, in majority of Cullen’s poems the theme of the identity crisis is…show more content…
In the poetry of McKay, the theme of identity crisis can be seen as recurring. He was a popular figure not only among the African American learned circle but was also in the white intellectual circles of Manhattan. His fame rested mainly on his poems and among his well known poems, the poem Outcast is worthy of mentioning. It is always agonizing to be forced to detach from motherland and this pain of departing from the motherland has been depicted meticulously in McKay’s poem Outcast. In this poem the poet has tried to convey the pathetic condition of the African Americans who were forced to give up their black legacy and was denied to get into the mainstream American society. It was the dual-consciousness of being African and an outsider in the American society which enshrouded the minds of the African Americans and also veiled the entire poem of McKay. The pain of the double-consciousness in McKay’s poem Outcast can be felt in the following

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