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Brought about by the pain inhumanity and suffrage of their people African American writers sought to necessitate change Through their prose and poetry these writers have vividly portrayed the way blacks were mistreated their feelings toward this oppression and their ability to endure in spite of it Dealing with issues such as race class and gender they paint a clear picture of the African American struggle Authors such as Claude McKay Charles Chestnut and Langston Hughes address the issue of race in their writing In Claude McKays poem If We Must Die he identifies the need for his kinsmen to stand up against oppression and fight back If they all must die he argues they might as well die nobly as opposed to like hogs hunted and penned in an inglorious spot He is telling his race that it is better to stand up for what they believe in and to fight for equality than to endure the injustices of racism and die as cowards Charles Chestnut also deals with the issue of race in his short story Po Sandy In this story he tells of a slave Sandy who was taken away from his family to be used as a laborer for neighbor farms because he was such a superb worker While he was away his wife was sold and he was never able to see her again Through this story Chestnut was conveying to the reader the dehumanization of the black slaves This dehumanization was the result of owners destroying their bonds and disrupting the family unit without any sense of remorse Clearly slaves were not valued as people but as property Whatever respect Sandy received was the result of his worth to the owner and he wasnt rewarded in any way for it Langston Hughes also dealt with the issue of race in his works In his poem I Too Hughes writes about how he is forced to eat in the
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