Harlem Renaissance Poets

In: Historical Events

Submitted By hosseinghazvini
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Harlem Renaissance Poets
Hossein Ghazvini
Strayer University
HUM 112

Dr. Anthony McCormack
November 27, 2011

Harlem Renaissance Poets
The first poem I choose from the Harlem Renaissance time belongs to Claude Mckay, “If We Must Die” (1919).
If we must die—let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dongs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must dir—oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead
Oh, kinsman! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!(Mckay, 1919).

To describe Clause Mckay’s role and importance within the Harlem Renaissance we shall look at his poems. Overall the author is expressing anger over the whites being racist and killing the slaves who fought back, also is unhappy about the war that is taking place and is trying to express his feelings trough his poems. Poems such as If we must die gave a sense of moving forward and pursuing the dream of freedom to the slaves who had started fighting back the whites.
The evidence of “double-consciousness” in the poem If we must die, is apparent throughout the poem for example where the author says “If we must die—let it not be like hogs” the author gives and impression as if he is talking about a hunting game, where in reality he is referring to the war going on between the whites and the blacks and encouraging the blacks to fight back and win the freedom or die for a better cause. In another section of the poem: If we must dir—oh, let us nobly die, again the author is encouraging the…...

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