Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was an African American writerwho is best-known for his work during the Harlem renaissance.Hughes and his fellows tried to depict the "low-life" in their art,that is, the real lives of blacks in the lower social-economicstrata. They criticized the divisions and prejudices based onskin color within the black community.Hughes was unashamedly black at a time when blacknesswas démodé. He stressed the theme of "black is beautiful" ashe explored the black human condition in a variety of depths.His main concern was the uplift of his people, whosestrengths, resiliency, courage, and humor he wanted to recordas part of the general American experience. His poetry andfiction portrayed the lives of the working class blacks inAmerica, lives he portrayed as full of struggle, joy, laughter,and music. Permeating his work is pride in the African-American identity and its diverse culture.The poem “The Negro speaks of Rivers” is his signature poem.
Ive known rivers:Ive known rivers ancient as the worldand older than the flow of human blood in humanveins.My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me tosleep.I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids aboveit.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when AbeLincoln went down to New Orleans, and Ive seenits muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset
Ive known rivers:Ancient, dusky rivers.My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
Reflect on the following question:How can you preserve your culturalheritage in the face of globalizationwhich drives you to embrace the newworld, the mainstream culture in order tosurvive?Present a specific solution orrecommendation on how to achieve this.(4-5 members)
REMINDER: (due on Monday)Journal writing: Write a reflection essay aboutracial and cultural pride using the poems wehave discussed as context. You may alsorelate the situations in these poems to our ownconditions in the Philippines.