Although knowledge of his early years is unreliable and vague, it is believed that he had a troubled childhood, full of abandonment. His writings celebrated black beauty and deplored racism and its effects Couch 1033 (Counter Culled, 2014)From a Dark Tree We shall not always plant while others repaper golden increment of bursting fruit,Not always countenance, abject and mute,That lesser men should hold their brothers cheap;Not everlastingly while others sleepwalk we guile their limbs with mellow flute,Not always bend to some more subtle brute;We were not made to eternally weep.Order now
The night whose sable breast relieves the stark,White stars is no less lovely being dark,And there are buds that cannot bloom at Allan light, but crumple, piteous, and fall;So in the dark we hide the heart that bleeds,And wait, and tend our agonizing seeds. From a The double consciousness that is being expressed in this poem is shown in the expression of the beauty and sadness in the nature around him. This is especially poignant in the line “White stars s no less lovely being dark”, essentially saying that black skin is as beautiful as white skin and should be accepted as such.
The underlying theme in the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance is an essential yearning to be accepted into mainstream society, not as inferiors, but as equals. The acknowledgement of the beauty of the African American and the acceptance as Patriotic equals is a line that appears to run through these poems. Raised and Repressed I raise my arms and give a shout A penitent man, I am blessed I stand on a soil of freedom Gained by forefathers unrepressed And to my knees I fall
Surrendering my dignity To another’s beck and call And know deep in my heart That the freedom of which he and I also speak Are often worlds apart. -Holly Gaston Works