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Langston Hughes Voice of a Time and a People In 20th century America the oppression facing African-Americans is possibly the most controversial and historical ever The constant battle they have fought is voiced clearly in the works produced by African-American authors poets artists and musicians during and prior to the Civil Rights Movement particularly in a period known as the Harlem Renaissance The voice that perhaps rang the truest among all people is that of Langston Hughes His work so sincerely expressed the needs wants and passions of his people during a time when perhaps these issues were being pushed aside Hughes poetry reflects the views of African-Americans during the 20th century He speaks with a passion for life love and the basic human desire for happiness Very rarely does someone like Hughes come along someone whose voice can speak for an entire people In 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed abolishing the practice of slavery Although this was a great leap in the freedom of African-Americans they were still far from the equality that they so longed for The struggle had just begun The turn of the century brought many changes for African-Americans They had slowly built up communities in Americas urban areas or rural land Although a very few number of African-Americans could actually be considered successful at this point in time most had cut all ties from their familys slave master and had made a life for themselves and the generations to come Despite the advances made African-Americans were still treated horribly by whites They were segregated from society placed on the outside and looked upon as outcasts They were not given the same freedoms or opportunities as the white man Although white America kept assuming that African-Americans would accept their preconceived place in society many revolutionary sparks began to fly in the early 20th century Protest groups began to form all over the nation Many
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