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Visitors' Comments about:

Minstrel Man

Langston Hughes

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Added by: lvhsgrl
I really like this poem because of the underlining meaning- what's being shown on the outside is not necessarily what is being felt on the inside. This is one of the few poems of Hughes' whose subject matter is generic- it's not specifically about one race of people but people in general
"the underlying meaning"?
Added by: Samuel Biagetti
Actually, lvhsgrl, I think that the "Minstrel" in the title of this poem is a reference to the Black "minstrels" who would adopt goofy, stereotypical personas and perform music and comedy shows, mostly for White people, in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The famous Jim Crow, after whom "Jim Crow laws" were named, was one especially degrading example of this type of theatre. So, clearly, this poem also deals specifically with the experience of Black Americans.

It may be wise, however, to keep in mind that Hughes' poems, like all other sorts of literature, may be BOTH about a particular GROUP of people AND about people in general.
Added by: Floret
Yeah! Take me -- I'm all about a certain flower, as well as flowers in general -- not to mention people who trample them, both metaphorically and literally, in fields where they lay due to environmental disregard.
Added by: Asagao
Just dropping my opinion on this... if that's unappreciated then either ignore this or have the moderators delete this.

I think Langston very nicely expressed the angsty views more and more people are beginning to feel. I really like the analogy to a minstrel, considering minstrels are nothing more than paid entertainment for the rich. Langston must've felt used or something, becoming the fool of public's eye, and he very magnificently captured this emotion, not only on paper, but IN RHYME. That's HARD.

Now that I'm done writing my essay...

Yeah, I just wanted to say I really appreciated this.
Added by: Marissa
This is a beautiful poem, plain and simple. It appeals to everyone, because everyone at one time or another hides their pain in this sense, and so this poem recieves universal empathy.

Also note to Mr. Samuel Biagetti: The Beauty and emotion of poetry can be seen in different ways, especially this one, a poem which I think everyone relates to with different memories.

i.e. Don't violently trample on people's opinions-- by doing so you are being hypocritical to the messages Langston Hughes instilled in his writing.

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