Hughes and The Ways of White Folks Essay Example
Hughes and The Ways of White Folks Essay Example

Hughes and The Ways of White Folks Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (765 words)
  • Published: January 3, 2022
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The work basically talks about racism and it affects people, also reveals who black people perceived the white according to Langston Hughes.
Definition of the “whiteness” by Langston Hughes and Du Bois.

The black thinks that white people are generally bad characters and if there are those who are genuinely good, then they are very few. This is depicted by Langston Hughes in his book THE WHITE FOLKS. The title is derived from the story “Berry,” an account of a young black man who works as a handyman in a home for handicapped children (Hughes10-60). Berry is exploited and does more than his share of work for a pittance. He cannot understand why this happens and remarks “The ways of white folks, I mean some white folks, is too much for me. I reckon they must be a few good on


es, but most of them ain’t good—least wise they don’t treat me good. And Lawd knows, I are never done anything to them, nothing at all (Hughes10-60).

Overall, the stories comment on the suffering the black community endures at the hands of white society. “Slave on the Block,” for example, details how a white couple strives to make a young black artist fit into their aesthetic mold. Humorously, “the young man, rebelling, runs off with the...”

One of the stories in The Ways of White Folks — "a brilliantly realized portrait of an isolated black woman in a small Middle Western town, who stoically survives her own sorrows but in the end lashes out against the hypocrisy of the whites who employ her.
Langston Hughes would come to resent that his fame and reputation, at least in the early days

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was les from the acceptance of Black America, and more so from the white liberals whom, as he stated, would read his books because it was the “in” thing to do; who would want to shake his hand at a party, but would never want to be his friend (Hughes10-60). This reminds me similarly of something that was once said of Michael, which is that he was loved as long as he was just a song and dance man (another way to say, “as long as he was “in his place”) and despised as soon as he acquired the ATV catalog and became one of the most powerful players in the industry. According Du Bois on his book an author reflecting on his life reveals the agony that the black undergoes. Du Bois could not separate himself from “what was then called the Negro problem.” Even his consciousness is divided into two parts, becoming a double consciousness. He calls the experience generated by the color line “the Veil.” As a man living behind the Veil, part of his being is hidden. One part of his consciousness belongs to the human race, and the other consciousness is shrouded behind the Veil. Du Bois allows his readers to look behind the Veil, to share his pain and humiliation and to celebrate a world populated by heroes and by joy. The souls of black folk are the flame of hope and life in a world where hatred diminishes and kills the body and the spirit.

The triumph of African American culture is revealed through the songs of sorrow that introduce each chapter. In the hymns, both suffering from enslavement

and surviving through hope are conveyed simultaneously (Hughes10-60). Although the book is often based on facts, the spirituals connect the information to the heart and the soul. The result is a moving story of a race and a man. Spiritual striving shapes the lives of African Americans who search for freedom and fulfillment.

The common thing about the two authors is that they have both undergone through the ordeal of racism and they have both felt the pain inflicted by those who are extremely racist. Despite having gone through this ordeal, they have a strong will to have this heinous act brought to an ultimate end. However, though they do not have much difference, the two differ in some ways, one of them being that Langston Hughes seems to be me more emphasizing by giving relevant stories of characters that seem to have been directly affected. Even though Du Bois also seem to be doing the same, his is not as intriguing as that of Langston Hughes.
This therefore lets me to conclude that Langston Hughes his more convincing as far as confronting racial zed relations is concerned.

Work Cited

  1. Hughes, Langston. The Ways of White Folks: Stories. Vintage, 2011:10-60
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