The Negro Mother

Although “The Negro Mother” is a poem written by Langston Hughes, it is written from a mother’s perspective and a person who was a slave. From the name of the poem, Negro was a word to describe African American slaves. The poem is trying to express a mother is passing the hope to her children for freedom and equality. It is also emphasizing women’s positions in America’s society. Firstly, Hughes had set the tone of the poem, in line 1 to 4, the last words rhyme like AABB. In the first 6 lines, it declared the speaker is from a mother’s perspective with the keyword ‘children’ and phrases to describe a kind mother such as ‘shining like the sun with love’s true light’. From line 7 to 17, the speaker explains her experience of being a slave. Line 7 to 8, it is comparing herself to slaves back to 300 years ago. Then, she explains herself as a slave. Line 18 to 22, the mother believes she has the last hope which is her child, as a gift from God. it reveals that the love from mother is a great thing. Line 23 to 32, it is describing the mother had no ability to either read or write, also evoke emotions of depression in the slave community. But ‘ I had to keep on! No stopping for me–‘, there was no such thing as holidays for slaves, once they were slaves, they will die as a slave. But in line 23 to 52, the speaker tells about their hope and dreams would pass on to the future generations. ‘ I had only hope then, but now through you, Dark ones of today, my dreams must come true:’ the speaker is also representing all the African American slaves, to ask the next generation to remember how white people had treated them and encourage them to stay strong, to fight for the rights they should have deserved, so that they can become successful. Lastly, line 49 to 52, it shows the love from the mother would be the stairs towards success in the future. The whole main idea of this poem, “The Negro Mother”, is to appeal to all African Americans to be proud of themselves, don’t be underestimated by anyone.


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