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The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain and the Blues That I Am Playing have connections and differences. The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain is a story by Langston Hughes about a black American poet who would rather be a white poet. Kelley and Bloom, (2009) claim that at that time, poets from the black community were being looked down. It was during the 1960s in America. The story speaks about the African American families of that time.
The African American families taught their children to adore and fear the white man and try to become more like them. They would be punished if they behaved more like blacks. That was a sad time when families taught their children to avoid their culture. It speaks of a lack of a factor to differentiate between the middle and upper class African Americans. It was not the financial set up and capacity that made these two groups different but the manner in which these people acted. The whiter like they acted the more they climbed the societal class.
The Blues I'm Playing was also written by Langston Hughes. It was published in 1934. In the same manner as Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, it talks about the racial attitudes that surface when whites and blacks interact. The major character Oceola Jones is a young black music teacher, a gifted jazz and classical musician with insufficient time and money to pursue her music career. Mrs. Dolla Ellsworth decides to sponsor oceola in pursuing her art but their relationship gets sour (Kelley and Bloom, 2009).
The two stories were written at about the same time. They carry the real life situation that existed then. This is brought out by Hughes as he saw it to be. Both of the two stories have been written by the same author and cove some themes that are the same. Race and racism is the main theme in the two books. The whites have been depicted as superior than the blacks. The blacks themselves tend to agree with this notion and opt to copy the lifestyle of the white (Tracy, 2001).
Slavery is clearly brought out in the two stories. In The Negro Artist story, it is the blacks that work for the whites in order to get some money to cater for their needs. Mrs. Dolla having liked the artistic skill of dolla she appoints herself as Oceola's patron and tries to control her life. We also see blacks working as shoe shine boys, seam stresses, laundry workers ladies' maids and truck drivers. They do this for the whites. In The Negro Artist the blacks are seen as low class people not because of the class they are in but because of the lifestyle they lead. The blacks sing for the whites to please them so that the whites can pay them some money. If the whites don't like their music they don't pay. The Negros cannot do anything about this.
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In the Blues I'm playing, Hughes displays his knowledge of music and arts in both African American and euro American traditions. The blacks portray their music skill through the jazz genre. This is still the case in the story Negro artist and the racial mountain. The blacks sing praising the white mans culture. Their music depicts the black culture and art as barbaric (Tracy, 2001).
The black art of expression is brought out clearly. In the Negro artist, information is expressed through poetry for example in the expression "I want to be a poet and not a Negro poet". The black man is identified through their rich art. African American poetry is also brought out in the Blues I'm Playing. It displays the black artists' experiences in a white dominated world of modern art (Kelley and Bloom, 2009).
The Negro Artist concentrates more on the blacks while the Blues I'm Playing concentrates on the whites. The two stories relate to the black African American heritage. The shaping of the black attitudes towards themselves stems form their art, music and past history. Issues discussed in the two stories encourage the black African Americans to work hard and change the view that whites have on them.
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