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This paper explores the African-American experience through the poetry of Langston Hughes and the songs of Billie Holiday, further presenting a comparative analysis of their themes. First, the paper briefly notes the experience of African-Americans during the mid-twentieth century, showing how this is when the basis for the civil rights movement began. Then, the paper describes the artistic work of both Hughes and Holiday, showing how both created written works delivered only through different media. The comparative analysis explains that Hughes and Holiday created poetry and songs, respectively, that mirror the lifestyle, beliefs, and values of African-Americans during their time. Despite this similarity, however, their works differ in the form of their 'attack' on racism. Various individual poems are analyzes as well as some of Holidays songs. The paper concludes by stating that although they differed in thematic content, both Hughe's and Holiday's work powerfully reflect the African-American experience.
From the Paper:"In this paper, a comparative analysis of Hughes' and Holiday's works will be discussed. Although Hughes focused on poetry and Holiday on song-writing and singing, both created written works that are poetry delivered only through different media. The comparative analysis shows that Hughes and Holiday created poetry and songs, respectively, that mirror the lifestyle, beliefs, and values of African-Americans during their time. However, despite this similarity in their works, the two artists also differ in the form of their 'attack' in bringing to life the African-American life: Hughes, while retaining an emotional component in his works, actually depict his and his fellow African-American experiences within a specific context, making his poetry dependent thematically. Holiday, meanwhile, used her role as a singer/performer to fully evoke her emotions to her singing, 'losing' herself in the poetry that is her song--songs that are actually universal in their themes and can be understood by anyone."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Hawkins, A. (2005). "A non-negotiable blues catharsis: Billie and Ursa Lady Sings the Blues and Corregidora." The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 29, No. 1.
- Holiday, B. (2009). E-text of "Gloomy Sunday." Billie Holiday Songs website. Available at: http://www.billieholidaysongs.com/.
- Hughes, L. (2009). E-text of "Dream Deferred." Poem Hunter website. Available at: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/dream-deferred/.
- Wei, Xu. (2007). "Use of dreams in Hughes's Poetry." Canadian Social Science, Vol. 3, No. 5.
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Langston Hughes and Billie Holiday (2012, May 22) Retrieved September 17, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/langston-hughes-and-billie-holiday-151097/
"Langston Hughes and Billie Holiday" 22 May 2012. Web. 17 September. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/langston-hughes-and-billie-holiday-151097/>