The racial relationship between the American Whites and Blacks has always been an important issue in American society and a hot-discussed topic in modern literature. What we are doing today is to show you the racial relationship between the Whites and Blacks reflected from three famous black authors’ works we’ve learned this semester: < Selection from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave> by Frederick Douglass, <The Negro Speaks of Rivers> by Langston Hughes, and <How It Feels to Be Colored Me> by Zora Neal Hurston. Then we will carry on a comparison between the different recognitions of the relationships from the three works by the three black writers. We will analyze it in aspects of the authors’ era, life background, and finally point out that background and education level is enormously important in changing black people’s view in their relationship with white people.
Now that my partners have shown you a clear picture of our research, I would like to recap it and give our conclusions. Let’s start by answering these questions:
What do they think of the black people?
For Frederick Douglass, he thinks that all men should be equal, and due to his personal experience of being a slave (referring to the Narrative we have learned in class), he firmly thinks that black people are suffering greatly. And they should fight against white people for freedom. He also points out that education is the key for African Americans to improve their lives. For Langston Hughes, he holds the view that Black people have also been through civilization and everything which makes them strong and beautiful, thus black people should be proud of their identity. For Zora, she puts optimistic tone in describing black people’s life. She thinks there’s peace and prosperity in black people’s life. There shouldn’t any racial problems. Then let’s see what do they think of white people?
For Frederick, white people are cruel slave owners who neglect the rights of black people and restrict their freedom. So he fights with the whites in the Narrative, and get freedom. For Langston, he comes from a family of a mix race, and his grandmother has always instilled in her grandson a lasting sense of racial pride, to be proud of the black identity. For Zora, whites are not generalized as cruel racists and beasts. Hurston transcends the boundary of race and depicts them on the premise that they are humans who are specific and of differences, not that they are whites. What do they think of the relationships of the blacks and the whites? * For Frederick Douglass: contradictory, enemies, afraid of white * For Langston Hughes: unharmonious, should be respect and self-proud * For Zora Neal Hurston: just human, praise black identities,
Finally we can come to the conclusion that different era and education background plays an important role in the three authors’ view of relationships between blacks and whites.