Racial Identity in America
In the poem “Let America Be America Again”, Hughes (1) highlights the inequalities existing in the American society. He shows that the aspirations of liberty, patriotism, and equality remain like dreams. Hughes illustrates this by stating that America is not America to him as the kings and tyrants ruling America are crushing the people. There is also no liberty, since he feels he does not enjoy freedom as well as equality. However, he is hopeful that the people would redeem themselves, end the existing rot of graft and make America, America again. The author is thus in the internalization and commitment stage. He has experienced racial discrimination, and is determined to address these concerns. The poem suggests that the African-Americans feel themselves as subordinates to the full-blooded Americans, and are still treated as negroes, wherein he states “Negroes are servants to all.” Further, the poem shows the blacks and other immigrants in American remain oppressed while the so-called Americans prospered.
In the poem “We Are Cool”, Brooks (1) illustrates how African-Americans, out of frustration, engage in self-destructive activities such as, alcohol abuse, fighting, sinning and skipping school. They give an outward impression of coolness, but they know that does not make their future any better. Brooks is in the internalization and commitment stage as she identifies a nagging problem lurking in the African-American societies. She tackles it through her poetry by pointing out that the blacks remain an inferior race in American society, partly due to their own attitude. The poem also suggests that the African-Americans want to retain their identity . The speaker suggests that the African-Americans are too carefree and rebellious in nature, as they are big-headed enough to forego school. Consequently, this leads them into undesirable activities instead of their becoming mature and useful members of society.