The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Category: Crime
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Pages:  4
Words:  1073
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What is freedom? Is our understanding of this word correct? A lot of us believe that they have a comprehension of this word. I can say that it is among those terms that we come to know at an early age because we all at the end of the day seek freedom. Do we have a comprehensive understanding of what freedom in America truly means? We think that we are free, but the reality is that we are far from it.

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We are the community that operates within rules and laws, which limit freedom but let us live harmoniously with each other. However, I must point out that America is exceptional and this freedom in America.

The reason why I used this introduction in the beginning of my essay is to describe how freedom has changed from then and now. The difference between freedom now would be totally different from back in the past. Now we have laws and restrictions to what we can actually do, like for example we have cops that enforce the law, just incase someone wants to break the law that the government has set up for us to follow. As our society grows more rules will be added, because we interpret freedom in many different ways, there’s part of the world who think freedom is when you can do whatever you want and it is a way to express yourself. The part of the world would describe freedom that has restrictions just like I explained in my introduction, they believe you can do things out of freedom, but with certain restrictions because there could be a chance that they get in a lot of trouble , or worse get to sent to jail or prison for their freedom being out of control.

Freedom now is a little more lenient when it comes to some things, for example, you have the right to say whatever you want it is your freedom of speech to express the way you feel. Also now we have a choice to pick whether to be religious or not. You are not forced to become something you are not. Another reason how freedom is different now is you have a choice to fight for your country you are not forced to go to war if you do not want to, about fifty years ago there was no choice if you were drafted you were expected to fight in the war, no, and, if, or buts. If you were healthy and able to fight and you would fight for our country. I used these examples to explain the difference between freedom now then how it was fifty years ago.

Back in the day they saw freedom very different, in that case there wasn’t much freedom because, the crime rate was a lot higher. During segregation crimes rate were a lot higher due to African American and Whites people separated and part of the white community thinking African Americans didn’t deserve to be here because they did not think we were equal and they were more superior than African Americans, but in reality we are all equal. There was less freedom due to African Americans not being able to vote because the color of their skin, and because they were black they were treated as less of a person. The laws were completely different when it came to race most of the laws were strictly rules African Americans had to follow. The definition of freedom has been blown out of portion. People have a different way of interpreting freedom there are some who just do what they want and don’t understand there are restrictions to keep everyone safe and give you a sense of purpose. If world was completely free it would cause so much have havoc in the world, because without restrictions people would do whatever they want like crime rates would be a lot higher because more people would be killed, or more burglaries would be more prone. The freedom in America highlights to us and what is special about it. The truth about the American society is so advanced now that we have a lot of freedom, but as long it does not affect us negatively we call all live in peace without any corruptions.

In the Poem that Langston Hughes wrote he explains about how African Americans were slaves and they were not free, and that was their wish was to be free and to get to the underground railroads so that they can become free and not be slaves anymore. The Negro of Speaks rivers connects to the soul and heritage of African American community to the four great rivers in the middle East. In this way, the poem it talks about the journey of African American and links this community to the birth of civilization . The Poet tells the tale of freedom and enslavement that his people have endured and it heralds their wisdom and strength. To make more sense of the poem Langston Hughes wants us to understand what they had gone through during their time of in enslavement. In this poem about enslavement Langston Hughes uses imagery by talking about what was happening in the poem and explaining the struggle the African Americans had to take in order to get to the underground railroad.

The poem tries to capture the setting of the poem which started close to the Mississippi river, where young Abraham Lincoln had witnessed slavery for the first time. When Langston Hughes talks about the rivers he means that his soul has to become deep as the rivers, then he explains to us how that transformation had took place. After the slaves were free they had ran to the river which they described as one of the coolest things around and it was a way to escape. In Line 7 the Congo river is personified as it has lulled our speaker to sleep, but the farther you get into the poem gets more interesting and makes you really think about what they had gone through in the past.

In conclusion we all perceive freedom in our own ways there are people have an extension of freedom and there are other who thinks freedom means no law and no restrictions are accountable .

Work Cited

  1. Hughes, L. B. (1951). The Negro speaks of rivers … Music by Margaret Bonds, words by Langston Hughes. Handy Brothers Music Co., Inc.”
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The Negro Speaks of Rivers. (2021, May 10). Retrieved from