Thursday, 12 June 2014

Key facts of “Thank You Ma’am” by James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967)




The Harlem Renaissance:
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke. The Movement also included the new African-American cultural expressions across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States affected by the Great Migration (African American), of which Harlem was the largest. Though it was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, in addition, many francophone black writers from African and Caribbean colonies who lived in Paris were also influenced by the Harlem Renaissance.
Harlem became an African-American neighborhood in the early 1900s. In 1910, a large block along 135th Street and Fifth Avenue was bought by various African-American realtors and a church group. Many more African–Americans arrived during the First World War.
Characterizing the Harlem Renaissance was an overt racial pride that came to be represented in the idea of the New Negro, who through intellect and production of literature, art, and music could challenge the pervading racism and stereotypes to promote progressive or socialist politics, and racial and social integration. The creation of art and literature would serve to "uplift" the race.
Jazz poetry:
Jazz poetry is poetry that "demonstrates jazz-like rhythm or the feel of improvisation".[1] During the 1920s, several poets began to eschew the conventions of rhythm and style; among these were Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and E. Cummings. The significance of the simultaneous evolution of poetry and jazz during the 1920s was apparent to many poets of the era, resulting in the merging of the two art forms into jazz poetry. Jazz poetry has long been something of an "outsider" art form that exists somewhere outside the mainstream, having been conceived in the 1920s by African-Americans, maintained in the 1950s by counterculture poets like those of the Beat generation, and adapted in modern times into hip-hop music and live poetry events known as poetry slams.
Publication: The story was published in 1958 and is not in the public domain. Although some sources cite 1933 as the date of publication.
Characters: The story features two characters; Roger and Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones.
Theme: Langston Hughes' "Thank You, M'am" contains three main themes: love and trust, forgiveness, and dignity.

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